Roman Abramovich’s mansion on the French Riviera seized
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The countries of the European Union continue to seize the assets of the Russian oligarch to apply sanctions, from superyachts to masterpieces of modern art. After two famous paintings belonging to oligarchs were seized, French authorities seized a dozen of Roman Abramovich’s properties in the country, including his beloved Château de la Croë on the French Riviera.
Abramovich bought the French mansion in 2001 and reportedly spent $40 million to renovate the property. Abramovich’s Château de la Croë villa has a storied history; it was built in 1926 and leased by the former King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson – the Duke and Duchess of Windsor – after his abdication in 1936.
While owning the property, the exiled former British king and his American wife hosted many famous guests, including British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. The Windsors sold the property in 1950, then it was owned by Aristotle Onassis, Greek shipping magnate and future husband of Jackie Kennedy. Onassis sold the villa in 1957 to his brother-in-law Stavros Niarchos. It is not known who owned Château de la Croë when Abramovich purchased the property.
The Parisian first reported the seizure of Abramovich’s multi-million dollar castle. By Initiated, French authorities have seized “a total of 33 properties, four yachts and six helicopters belonging to sanctioned oligarchs”. The French government has published a list of seized property this week, the majority of which are on the French Riviera.
Abramovich, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has been the target of high-profile sanctions. He denies having close ties to Putin, but has still been subject to numerous seizures. On the day Russia invaded Ukraine, Abramovich transferred two companies he controlled to his associates, Reuters reportedperhaps to try to anticipate any economic sanction.
In March, the billionaire was forced to sell his London football club, Chelsea, and just this week, the island of Jersey (a self-governing Channel Island nation) frozen $7 billion of Abramovich’s assets. Two of his yachts have also been marked for input In the Caribbean. His other assets seized in France include an estate in St. Barths, apartments in Paris and villas in Nice. Forbes estimates the value of his foreclosed properties in France at around $340 million.
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