Locals baffled as grand old house reduced to mud
The mayor of a small wine-making village near Bordeaux has taken legal action after a picturesque 18th-century chateau mysteriously disappeared.
Residents of Yvrac were baffled to find that the vast Bellevue chateau, with ornate stone balustrades and 13,000sq m of rooms surrounded by vineyards had been reduced to a mound of mud last month, apparently bulldozed while a construction firm were supposed to be restoring it to past glory.
Dmitry Stroskin, a Russian businessman, had bought Bellevue and secured a planning permit to destroy one small outhouse while repairing the historic main chateau, which was in a bad state. Stroskin, who works in Warsaw, told local paper Sud Ouest: “I didn’t know the chateau had been destroyed. I’m in shock. Even if it was in a very bad state, I had wanted to renovate it.”
He said he had fallen in love with the historic building while looking for a house in France and vowed he would now build an exact replica – a project that would take two years. He told the paper he understood the “turmoil” of the local community but said he would not be looking to blame anyone for the destruction as “the damage has been done”.
Yvrac’s mayor, Claude Carty, said: “It was done very quickly, in two or three days. It is regrettable and abnormal.”
– (Guardian service)