First Published: 2013-07-11

 

Qatari Prince vows to help Hotel Lambert rise from ashes

 

Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa Al Thani says he is determined to follow through with restoration of landmark mansion after fire.

 

Middle East Online

Significant structural damage

PARIS - The Qatari prince who owns the Hotel Lambert in Paris vowed Thursday to restore the landmark mansion to its original grandeur after it suffered severe damage in a fire.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa Al Thani said he was determined to follow through with the restoration of the mansion after the fire on Wednesday at the 17th-century townhouse on Ile Saint-Louis overlooking the Seine.

"We are more determined than ever to continue the restoration works... to preserve the beauty of this magnificent example of French architecture," the sheikh said in a letter made public by his notary, Antoine Pineau.

The fire caused significant structural damage to the mansion and destroyed murals, frescoes and paintings dating back centuries.

Police were investigating the cause of the blaze, which broke out on the roof of the building and is believed to be linked to renovation works.

Built in the 1640s at the eastern tip of Ile Saint-Louis, the mansion was designed for a wealthy financier, Nicolas Lambert, by the architect Louis Vau, who went on to oversee an expansion of the Chateau de Versailles for Louis XIV.

The mansion is considered one of the finest examples of mid-17th-century French architecture and has a storied history, having played host to a slew of famous names including philosopher Voltaire.

The sheikh bought the building in 2007 from the Rothschild banking dynasty for some 60 million euros ($85 million).

Plans for large-scale renovations, including the installation of a parking area and vehicle lift, were initially blocked by a French court following complaints from heritage activists and neighbours.

The dispute was finally resolved in early 2010 when an agreement was signed with a heritage association after weeks of delicate government-supervised negotiations.

 

Mattis: We are not in Iraq to seize anybody's oil

Iraq forces battle their way to Mosul airport

Famine grips parts of South Sudan

Iran says Saudi, Israel working to damage country

Women named to head Saudi financial institutions

Syria army escalates shelling near Damascus ahead of talks

Coalition expects to remain in Iraq after Mosul operation ends

Egypt court hands out death sentences over football riot

Israelis optimistic on Trump despite mixed messages

Prime minister's convoy comes under fire in Libya

Four Russian military personnel killed in Syria

Prince of Poets returns to Al Raha Beach theatre

Merkel in Algiers hoping to curb Africa migrant flow

Debate on Muslim Brotherhood ban reflects battle lines in US

IS claims suicide attack by British bomber

Le Pen in Lebanon for first head of state meeting

Israeli PM sets off on Asia tour

HRW says IS jihadists raping, torturing Sunni Arab women too

Trial of 'Erdogan assassination plot' suspects opens in Turkey

Hundreds of migrants storm Morocco-Spain border

Iraq digs anti-IS trench around Ramadi

Israel's Lieberman fears Palestinians will dilute 'Jewish state'

At least 14 dead in Mogadishu car bombing

Arab leaders, Netanyahu held secret peace meeting

Obesity a major health problem in Jordan

350,000 children trapped in west Mosul

UN envoy to Syria : 'Where is the US?'

UN says aid to Sudan expected to drop

Mosul civilians divided over Iraqi army advice to 'stay home'

Iraq forces launch operation to retake west Mosul

US-led coalition praises Iraq's 'militias'

Egypt tourism shows signs of recovery

Turkey eyes strong US alliance, despite Trump splits

Former Ahmadinejad VP eyes Iran presidential bid in May

Turkey car bomb kills child, wounds 17

Russia seeks 'post-West' world order

Veteran Moroccan politician M'hamed Boucetta dies

Iran set to conduct new military drills

Viral video shows Syrian boy caught in barrel bomb attack

41 jihadists executed by rival group in Syria

Erdogan begins campaign for referendum to expand powers

Turkish shelling kills 9 in IS-held Syria town

Erdogan supporters 'increasingly demonising' 'no' voters

US backs political solution in Syria claim allies

Rare ancient busts rescued from Palmyra to be returned