It was a solution at practically the last minute: on Tuesday, the city of Meissen received a five-digit sum of money.

With the sum "all the debts on the Kornhaus were settled" and thus the "forced auction date is obsolete", the city administration said in response to a request from the FAZ.

The auction would have been next Monday, which has been causing waves of protest not only in Meissen, but nationwide for a few weeks.

Because the AfD had announced that it would auction the building, which dates back to the 15th century, and build a conference and training center for the party in it.

The property is "a unique opportunity" and fits the party like no other with its whole ambience, Federal Treasurer Carsten Hütter said after the plans became known.

For some locals, this was a nightmare idea, as the Kornhaus is part of a group of buildings around the cathedral and Albrechtsburg, which is considered the cradle of Saxony.

Should AfD flags fly at this tourist highlight in the future?

Stephen Locke

Correspondent for Saxony and Thuringia based in Dresden.

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On Monday, the Kornhaus was still on the agenda of the culture committee in the state parliament.

There, the parliamentary group of the Left Party had asked Saxony's state government to acquire the building.

But what the CDU-led Ministry of Finance had already decided early on was now also confirmed by the black-green-red coalition: there is no state need for the property.

The drama surrounding the former storage building, which was converted into a residence for Saxony's kings in the 19th century, has lasted for many years.

In GDR times, the Kornhaus was used as a residential building and fell into disrepair after reunification.

In 2008, due to lack of money, the city of Meissen sold it to an Italian-Austrian consortium of companies that promised to turn it into a hotel.

Nothing came of these plans

Rather, the owner ultimately owed the property tax and failed to meet his building security obligations, according to the city.

That's why she put the building up for foreclosure.

"A good piece of silverware from Saxon culture"

The fact that nothing will come of it was welcomed on Wednesday by the cultural policy spokesman for the SPD parliamentary group, Frank Richter, who is campaigning for the building to be returned to public ownership.

"The Kornhaus is without a doubt a good piece of silverware from Saxon culture and history," said Richter.

"Because the doors of this house should be open to everyone in the future, it does not belong in the hands of a single group or party." However, the averted auction was only a gain of time.

He called on both the city and the Free State to come together on the matter.

Ideas for future use already abound, including a museum for Saxon history, Meissen porcelain, which was invented at the castle, and a state exhibition in 2029 when the city turns 1100 years old.

AfD treasurer Hütter regretted the development to the FAZ on Wednesday: "We see it with a crying and a laughing eye," he said.

"We hope, however, that the building will now also be taken care of." However, if "again" it was only a question of preventing the AfD, one would continue to keep an eye on it.

Irrespective of this, the party is still "on the road to around a dozen different objects throughout Germany" in order to acquire one or more of them.

The city of Meissen, in turn, announced that it would try to reintegrate the Kornhaus into the Albrechtsburg ensemble in the future.

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