Denmark: Copenhagen auctions 7,000 retro street lamps

The street lamps hanging above a Copenhagen street Image copyright Lauritz.com
Image caption Out with the old: The lamps have illuminated Copenhagen's streets for decades

Copenhagen city council is auctioning off 7,000 of the city's old street lamps to the general public.

The council is replacing almost half of its street lighting as part of an energy-saving drive, including all of the iconic dome-shaped "Copenhagen lamps", the DR.dk news website reports. They were designed by the municipal architect's office in 1977, and restored versions have now become fashionable as indoor lighting in private homes. "It's a piece of Copenhagen's history that's being put up for sale for people's enjoyment," council official Steffen Rasmussen tells the website.

Image copyright Lauritz.com
Image caption The council says some of the lamps will be given to charity

Auction house Lauritz.com notes that the lamps do show some signs of wear and tear - perhaps inevitable after decades spent weathering the Scandinavian seasons. And owning a piece of urban history isn't cheap; the auctioneers estimate that each one is worth 200 euros ($220; £143). But the company's CEO Mette Rode Sunstrom says they "really hit the spot" in terms of Danish interior design trends. "It's becoming important to make things personal and unique with finds from different time periods and styles," she says.

About 20,000 street lights are being replaced in total across the Danish capital, which the council says will lead to energy savings of 57% by 2016. Copenhagen is hoping to become the world's first carbon neutral capital city by the year 2025.

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