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If you're going to replace the object, couldn't you reconnect the lines to the new one before deleting the old one?

If for some reason you can't do that, you may be out of luck. You might think that deselecting Allow Connections From Lines for the old object before deleting it would leave the lines behind, but that doesn't work. Apparently the Allow Connections... setting applies only to making new connections; it doesn't turn off existing ones.