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.

 

Syrian rebels agree to leave new area outside Damascus

Family accuses Israel of killing Palestinian in Malaysia

Rouhani slams officials' 'vow of silence' in face of protests

US has 'concerns' about Turkey holding fair vote under state of emergency

Cinema makes return to Saudi Arabia

UN Security Council meets over Syria in Sweden

Turkish government rejects criticism of election campaign

Condemnation after Gaza teenager killed by Israeli soldiers

Natalie Portman says backed out of Israel prize over Netanyahu

Morocco, EU start talks on new fisheries deal

FIFA to return to Morocco to check hotels, stadiums

Turkey in shock after violent Istanbul derby

Iraq pays first war reparations to Kuwait since 2014

Fiery kites adopted as new tactic by Gaza protesters

Romanian president slams plan to move Israel embassy

Western strikes on Syria bring no change whatsoever

Trump criticises OPEC for high oil prices

Syria says rebels south of capital surrender

Market has capacity to absorb higher oil prices: Saudi minister

Putin 'ready' for Trump summit

Saudi Arabia to host first public film screening

HRW criticises Lebanon for evicting Syria refugees

Saudi says intercepted ballistic missile from Yemen

Russia mulls supplying S-300 missile systems to Syria

Bashir fires Sudan foreign minister

Washington: Assad still has 'limited' chemical capability

European MPs urge US not to scrap Iran deal

Oil price soars to highest level in years

Two more pro-Kurdish MPs stripped of Turkey seats

Oil theft 'costing Libya over $750 million annually'

Turkey's snap polls: bold gambit or checkmate for Erdogan?

Iran arrests senior official over public concert

Bahrain sentences 24 to jail, strips citizenship

UN experts urge Iran to cancel Kurd's death sentence

Moderate quake strikes near Iran nuclear power plant

Syria regime forces caught in surprise IS attack

Turkey sentences 18 to life for killing ‘hero’ coup soldier

Exxon faces setback in Iraq as oil and water mix

Libya to clamp down on fuel smuggling

Yemen to arrest colonel for overlooking African migrant rape

Erdogan sends Turkey to snap polls on June 24

Qatar joins Gulf military exercise in apparent compromise

Saudi-Russia oil alliance likely to undercut OPEC

UN in security talks with Syria on chemical probe

Riyadh says two al Qaeda militants killed in Yemen