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.


Corbyn criticised over Syria air strike rejection

Turkey protests against journalist arrests

Turkey seeks to ease tensions with Moscow

Tunisia to rethink anti-IS strategy

Saudi women begin first-ever election campaign

Russia prepares retaliation against Turkey

Cameron pushes for Britain to join Syria air strikes

Erdogan denies buying oil from IS

Lavrov says no war with Turkey after 'planned provocation'

Tunisia under state of emergency

Missing Iranian diplomat found dead in Saudi

Heavy Russia raids at site of Syria plane crash

Tunisia declares state of emergency after terrorist attack in heart of capital

Bahrain calls HRW torture report 'misleading'

Syria, Russia foreign ministers set Moscow talks

Rival Libya tribes sign peace deal to end months of fighting

Turkey reveals new cabinet of Erdogan allies

Turkey downs Russia Su-24 fighter jet on Syria border

Hopes fade away as Sudan peace talks break without deal

At least 6 dead in Libya bomb attack

Somali pirates seize Iran fishing boat with 15 crew

ISIS suicide bombers kill four in assault on Sinai hotel

Kerry visits Israel with scant hopes for major breakthrough

Hollande heads to Washington to seek support for war on ISIS

Brussels extends terror alert as US issues worldwide travel warning

UAE blames Islamists for delay in military operation in Taez

Egypt kills 5 Sudanese migrants near border with Israel

Anti-Muslim hate crimes rise 300 percent in Britain

Russia eases restrictions on nuclear cooperation with Iran

Gulf leaders to hold annual summit on December 10

Ex-Gathafi Minister arrested over murder of UK policewoman

UK boosts military spending as pressure grows to join anti-ISIS strikes

Israel bars Palestinians from West Bank settlement bloc

Iraq suspends northern flights due to danger posed by Russia missiles

Syria army advances against ISIS in central province of Homs

Pro-Kurdish leader escapes assassination attempt in Turkey

Tunisia group claims beheading of young shepherd on behalf of ISIS

Kerry arrives in Abu Dhabi for Syria discussions

Three Palestinians killed as fresh violence hits West Bank

Iran arrests ISIS-linked cell near Iraq border

Brussels remains on high alert for second day in a row

Israel seeks to strip citizenship of those who join ISIS

France warns Libya as ISIS gains ground

Fear escalates as ISIS edges closer to Syria Christian town

Iran sentences reporter Jason Rezaian to prison