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BNPS_FireplaceMarble_06.jpg (01202 558833)<br />
Pic: MaxWillcock/BNPS<br />
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A marble slab found propped up against a fireplace in a country cottage has sold for a staggering £554,000 - after it turned out to be a 1,450-year-old Buddhist relic.<br />
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The stele - an engraved stone or marble carving - stood for decades in the living room of the vendor's humble home in south west England.<br />
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They had no idea how valuable it was until an auctioneer who was invited along to look at a number of objects spotted it on the floor next to a woodburner.