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.

 

Iran nuclear talks go into extra time

At least 15 soldiers in Egypt car bomb attack

Yemen rebels free 1,200 prisoners

Palestinian PM to make 'temporary' cabinet reshuffle

Number of migrants crossing Med swells to 83% in first half of 2015

Saudi prince pledges fortune to charity

Syria Kurds regain full control of Tal Abyad

20 civilians killed in rebel fire on Yemen's Aden

Gulf states urged to follow Kuwait on maid rights

Negotiators extend deadline for Iran nuclear talks

‘Islamic State’ re-enters Syria border town of Tal Abyad

Defiant tourists stay in Tunisia

Deadly clashes rage on in eastern Libya

Only mobile phone company in Gaza closed by Hamas

Zarif keeps cards close to chest as he meets Kerry

Orange reaches deal with Israel's Partner after spat

Kuwait in ‘state of war’ after mosque suicide bombing

Iranians take to streets of Tehran to demand ‘good nuclear deal’

Turkey 'ready to help' Greece out of economic crisis

Sisi pledges tougher laws against militants after prosecutor killing

French prosecutor confirms IS link to factory beheading

Tunisia ‘was not prepared’ for beach massacre

Tunisia makes first beach massacre arrests

Tunisia attack set to wipe $500 million off economy

IS beheads two female ‘sorcerers’ in Syria

US resumes security aid to Bahrain

28 killed in IS attack on Huthi rebel leaders in Sanaa

Britons death toll in Tunisia attack to soar to 'around 30'

US official says method found for access to suspect Iran sites

Turkey holds top security meet

Israel to Syria rebels: 'Don't mess with the Druze'

Egypt state prosecutor dead after Cairo bomb attack

Iranians anxious as talks stumble

Qatar concedes 'much more needs to be done' on labour law

'Unprecedented situation' for Sudan's journalists

Egypt's state prosecutor injured in bomb attack

UAE woman sentenced to death for killing US teacher

Israel escorts flotilla defying Gaza blockade

Islamic State 'caliphate' enters second year with more bloodshed

Tunisia to arm tourist police after Sousse attack

Repatriation of two Tunisians once held by CIA

Key confidante of Syria president dies of illness

Libya rival factions sit at same table for first time

Students may have left Sudan for ‘Islamic State’

Tense nuclear talks set to go beyond deadline as differences remain