Sir Edmund Hillary's family in court battle with museum

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The son and daughter of Sir Edmund Hillary are heading to court in a battle to block public access to the Everest conqueror's personal papers.

Sir Edmund, who died at his Auckland home in January last year aged 88, left boxes full of his writings, private letters, diaries and maps, along with thousands of photographs and colour slides, to the city's museum.

But Peter Hillary, 55, and his sister Sarah, 54, are asking the New Zealand High Court to rule that a clause in the bequest allows them right of veto over the material.

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