Qatari prince's Paris mansion goes up in flames

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Firemen fight a blaze at the 17 century Hotel Lambert in Paris which is currently being renovated. (AFP/Getty Images)

Firemen fight a blaze at the 17 century Hotel Lambert in Paris which is currently being renovated. (AFP/Getty Images)

A landmark Paris hotel, owned by a Qatari prince, has suffered extensive damage in a blaze.

Flames ripped through the 17th-century Hotel Lambert in the French capital on Wednesday.

The building was being renovated after its purchase by Prince Abdullah Bin Abdullah al-Thani, brother of the Emir of Qatar, in 2007.

SEE PHOTOS OF THE BLAZE HERE

Located on the World Heritage-listed Seine embankment, the mansion was once home to the 18th century philosopher Voltaire.

According to local media, it took six hours for firefighters to put out the blaze, which started in an area below the rooftop.

A large portion of the roof was destroyed along with a section of a central staircase. Some of the brickwork on the front of the building has also collapsed.

Renowned fresco ceiling paintings by Charles Le Brun in the Gallery of Hercules were also "severely damaged by smoke and water", fire brigade officials were quoted as saying.

The mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoe, said the fire had shocked and saddened him.

Renovation plans by the Qatari owner have previously sparked concern from conservationists keen to preserve the historical architecture.

In 2010, the French culture ministry said the prince had signed a deal with a cultural association that had sought to stop his overhaul of the historic building on the Ile Saint-Louis in central Paris.

Under the compromise, the association withdrew its lawsuit and the prince was allowed to start renovation work.

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Posted by: ahmedski

Well too bad that an important architectural building has gone up in a flame. But it happens all the time. adding sault and pepper to the incident and draging Qatar and France into this incident has no relevance at all. A wealthy man opurchased a hotel from another wealthy man.. whats the big deal

Posted by: onefineday

Reminds me of the personal wealth, rather than personal growth Paul mentioned, that we saw for the world cup "vote" debacle Qatari!

Posted by: Paul

Comments are the reflection of their authors, revealing a great lack of self-awareness!
There is a huge difference from effortlessly profit of direct extraction of wealth from the planet and from generating it with hard work ? thus the lack of personal growth in some societies.

Posted by: Qatari

This reminds me of the colonies France still have control over.

Posted by: Peter Johnstone

So sad to see this - it is truly an amazing piece of architecture dating back to 1644 ... if anything, the Al Thani family has the ability and the financial means to (try to) fully restore the property after this fire accident.

Posted by: Francois Muller

What a shame that this fire should start. It is equally sad that France is allowing foreigners to buy such historic properties and perhaps this might encourage new laws banning such future sales. Best to remain in struggle than to sell out to people that really do not care for European history at all.

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