Filed under: Estates
The mayor of Paris is blocking the Emir of Qatar's plans for a multimillion-dollar renovation of the Hotel Lambert (above), an historic 17th century mansion in the Quai d'Anjou on the city's Île Saint-Louis. Mayor Bertrand Delanoë says the Emir's upgrades pose a serious threat to the Paris' architectural heritage, the Property Wire reports. The Emir's plans for the three-story building, built in 1639 by Louis Le Vau and part of a Unesco World Heritage site, include underground parking, new elevators and a the addition of new bed and bathrooms to the living quarters. "This is a real threat to a gem of Paris' heritage, the only private house from the end of Louis the XIII's reign that remains untouched," Delanoë stated in a letter to France's Culture Minister Christine Albanel. "I want this plan to be reconsidered, taking the time for a thorough examination."
As mayor, Delanoë has the power to block real estate projects that do not conform to the city's urban code. The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, was ranked at No. 7 on Forbes' list of the world's richest royals in 2008 with a fortune of $2 billion. He bought the mansion at the tip of the Paris island in 2007 from the Rothschild family for about $100 million, and plans to spend about another $20 million on renovations. He owns several other properties in Paris. Critics of the Emir's plans point out the lavishly appointed mansion already has 12 bathrooms and three elevators, aside from its many historic features. As a former resident of the Île Saint-Louis, I agree with the mayor that it would be a shame to disfigure such an important edifice in such a beautiful locale merely for the sake of convenience and vanity.
Gallery: HÃ´tel Lambert