THE FIGHT FOR GISSELFELD
This website describes the long drawn-out fight for control of a large land estate on the island of Zealand in Denmark. This is a battle with very significant consequences for the land in this area, its wildlife and the future of organic farming. It also threatens to undermine the legal foundation that Gisselfeld rests upon , a 300 year old so-called fundats written by Christian Golden Lion, a son of King Christian V.
However, the aspect of the fight for Gisselfeld that has received most media attention, has been the Count of Gisselfeld’s personal battle to regain his position as Director of the estate.
This visionary man, who had already begun to farm organically and had plans to transform Gisselfeld into what would be the largest organic estate in Denmark, lost his power after being ousted from his position under what can only be described as coup-like circumstances. The Count’s removal from his rightful position, has been led by a powerful and rich landowner called Koed-Jørgensen and a former top army General, Kjeld Hillingsø. This new leadership alliance has consilidated its hold on Gisselfeld through drawing on its influential network, and justified its actions in the name of economic rationality. Since aquiring power, they have cancelled all organic farming, heavily intensified logging of the forests, and rented out all available hunting areas. The Count’s challenge is now to win his power back by drawing on his legal rights, founded in one of the very oldest of Danish laws. Gisselfelds so called fundats was drawn up by CountDanneskiold-Samsøe’s forefather, the illegitimate son of King Christian V, Christian Gyldenløve (Golden Lion) in 1701 and 1702.
On the 8th January 2002 the count lost the case he brought to court on 16th April 1998. The judgement was appealed on the 17th January 2002 and will now continue in the Danish High Court, where a final outcome is expected 2006.