France sells iconic Vienna palace to Qatar

GMT 18:21 2015 Wednesday ,11 November

Arab Today, arab today France sells iconic Vienna palace to Qatar

The French and European flags fly at the Palais Clam-Gallas in Austrian capital
Vienna - AFP

France has sold an iconic neoclassical palace with a large park in the heart of Vienna to Qatar following a belt-tightening drive.

The French embassy in Vienna on Wednesday said it would be moving the French cultural institute to another building but refused comment on the sale.

Media reports referred to a sale price of 30 million euros for the Palais Clam-Gallas, which was built in 1834 and is set in 4.5 hectares (11 acres) of grounds.

The French government acquired the property in 1951 and it has since then housed the cultural institute.

The French ambassador to Vienna recently said that the upkeep of the palace was proving to be a heavy burden.

"The Qatari embassy, the building's new owner, has pledged to restore it to its former splendour," a French embassy statement said.

The French government owns real estate abroad worth about five billion euros. Last year, Paris put its UN ambassador's Park Avenue apartment in New York for sale for a staggering 48 million euros.

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