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.


Iraqi forces advancing on Mosul face stiff resistance

No Russian air strikes on Aleppo in 7 days

Thousands of Yemenis await lifting of Coalition blockade

UN receives reports of dozens of IS atrocities near Mosul

In violation of constitution, Iraq parliament votes to ban alcohol

UN envoy to Yemen presents peace proposal to Huthis

Turkey says US must extradite Gulen to avoid damaging ties

Mosul survivors recount fleeing IS 'caliphate'

Report finds Israeli forces could have avoided killings

NATO flies first surveillance mission backing anti-IS coalition

Russian FM says Mosul offensive equivalent to Moscow's Aleppo bombing

Saudi Arabia denies it imposed Yemen blockade

Syria Kurds say Turkey wants to prevent Raqa recapture

Anger at Israel national theatre show in occupied West Bank

Hundreds protest against UN 'complicity' in rebel-held Yemen capital

Turkey FM says ground operation in Iraq a possibility

Iraqi forces retake town from IS

Iran nuclear negotiator cleared of spying charges

Al-Shabaab in suicide bomb attack on AU base in Somalia

Gunmen kill two policemen in eastern Saudi Arabia

Iraqi paramilitary to block IS from fleeing Mosul for Syria

Two imams arrested in Ibiza over 'Islamic State support'

US general raises Yemen concerns with Saudi officials

At least 10 hurt in southern Turkey explosion

French FM annoys Turkey by contrasting states of emergency

UN planning for 150,000 displaced by Mosul battle

UAE jails Sudanese man for planning attacks on immigrants

Qatar in 3 days of mourning for former emir

16 civilians dead in bombardment of Syria's rebel-held Idlib

Civilians suffer in IS 'smoke war'

74 jihadists dead after IS assault on Kirkuk

Nearly 100 civilians dead in Turkey-backed Syria op

Kuwait says more work required to counter IS funding

Mosul refugees under IS fire at Syrian border

Morocco king calls for public administration reform

Israeli air force strikes Gaza

Russia not considering renewing Aleppo ceasefire

Israel minister: we will completely destroy Gaza in next war

Mosul battle sees highest number of US air strikes yet

Palestinians free four held after visiting settlement during Sukkot

IS executes five Iraqis in western town

Baghdad denies Ankara taking part in Mosul operation

Clashes, air strikes end Aleppo ceasefire

Iraq forces press Mosul assault

UN call to extend Yemen truce falls on deaf ears