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Danish museum forced to pay Elvis Presley heirs

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Danish museum forced to pay Elvis Presley heirs
Elvis and Priscilla Presley with newborn daughter Lisa Marie in February 1968. Photo: Public Domain
11:12 CEST+02:00
A Randers museum will have to fork over 500,000 kroner ($75,000, €67,000) to the estate of American icon Elvis Presley.
Denmark’s Maritime and Commercial Court (Sø- og Handelsretten) ruled on Wednesday that a museum in Jutland had violated the rights of the Presley estate by calling itself Graceland Randers.
 
The court ruled that the name was too similar to the original Graceland in Memphis, Presley’s former home which now draws over 600,000 visitors a year to see the singer and actor’s memorabilia, including gold records, jumpsuits and his famed pink Cadillac. 
 
The signer’s estate had sued Graceland Randers and its operator Henrik Knudsen, a self-proclaimed "professional Elvis fan”, for 1.5 million kroner. 
 
 
After the lawsuit was filed, Knudsen changed the museum’s name to Memphis Mansion. The museum is home to some 6,000 pieces of Presley memomorobilia and also includes the Highway 21 Diner.  Since its opening in 2011, it has grown into one of Denmark’s top 50 tourist attractions. 
 
Knudsen told The Local last year that he was caught off guard by the lawsuit from Elvis Presley Enterprises (EPE), which represents the Presley family. 
 
“When I got this idea back in 2005, there was a lot of media that wrote about this crazy Dane who had this wacky idea and I head nothing [from EPE]. Then in 2010, we broke the news that we would build a house inspried by Graceland and suddenly got a letter from an attorney. But by then I had already trademarked the name," Knudsen told The Local. 
 
Knudsen contends that EPE had every chance to stop his use of the Graceland name before he had invested so much into the project. 
 
"I did everything official, I did everything the right way. You can’t just come and bully me,” he said. 
 
“Everything I've done has been with my heart in the right place. I am a die-hard Elvis fan and I was doing this when there was no money involved," Knudsen added.
 
Knudsen also organizes trips from Denmark to the United States and says he has brought hundreds of Danish tourists to Graceland in Memphis. 
 
He even says that during his travels to the US, he has on numerous occasions met with The King’s former wife Priscilla and daughter Lisa-Marie, who expressed their approval of what he is doing in Denmark. 
 
"For more than 25 years, I've been working more or less as a full-time Elvis fan. Everyone has been thanking me for what I am doing in Denmark, and now suddenly this," Knudsen told us in 2015. 
 
Although the court told Knudsen to pay 500,000 kroner, it also acquitted him on several other charges brought b the Presley estate, including the sale of false Elvis products. 
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