Inside Saudi prince’s $300 mn lavish Paris mansion

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman‘s trip to France was not just about his meeting with President Emmanuel Macron. Grabbing headlines was the location of his stay.

The prince is staying at a lavish chateau, which is considered as the world’s ‘most expensive home’. Interestingly, the house is owned by Bin Salman who bought it in 2015.

According to a report in
AFP, the Chateau Louis XIV was bought by an undisclosed buyer for $300 million (at the time) in 2015.
Fortune magazine had called it “the world’s most expensive home.”

Sometime around 2018, the
New York Times had reported that Bin Salman was the ultimate owner of the chateau through a series of shell companies.

The 7,000-square-metre grand home is situated right outside Paris in Louveciennes. It is a newly-built mansion intended to replicate the extravagant luxury of the nearby Versailles Palace which once was the seat of the French royal family.

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As per
AFP, the heir to the Saudi throne was staying at the property ahead of his dinner with Macron later on Thursday. Reporters outside the perimeter wall saw security personnel in suits guarding the entrance and a large police presence, including half a dozen vehicles.

The lavish and equally gigantic chateau features a nightclub and eye-grabbing gold-leafed fountain. The property also houses a cinema, as well as an underwater glass chamber in the moat that resembles a giant aquarium with white leather sofas.

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As per the photos on the website of Emad Khashoggi’s company, Cogemad, there’s also a wine cellar inside the chateau, though alcohol is strictly prohibited in Saudi Arabia.

Chateau Louis XIV was built in 2009 after a 19th-century castle on the plot that was bulldozed. Incidentally, the Chateau Louis XIV was built by the late journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s cousin Emad Khashoggi, who runs a luxury property development business in France.

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Khashoggi was killed inside Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018, and Bin Salman was judged by US intelligence to have approved the gruesome murder and dismemberment.

Lately, Bin Salman’s extravagant spending after emerging as the main powerbroker in Saudi Arabia has been making headlines. In 2015, the son of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud bought a $500-million yacht and was also reported to be the mystery buyer of a $450-million Leonardo da Vinci painting in 2017. However, the latter purchase has been officially denied.

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