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Thu 11 Jul 2013 08:03 AM

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Qatari prince's Paris mansion goes up in flames

Fire rips through historic Hotel Lambert owned by Prince Abdullah Bin Abdullah al-Thani

Qatari prince's Paris mansion goes up in flames
Firemen fight a blaze at the 17 century Hotel Lambert in Paris which is currently being renovated. (AFP/Getty Images)
Qatari prince's Paris mansion goes up in flames

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.


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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Qatari 6 years ago

I dont think he is the brother of the Emir, for our Emir is now Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani and his father Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani. So the name mentioned doesnt fit the in.

Paul 6 years ago

The revenge of Voltaire - historian and philosopher famous for his advocacy of freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and separation of religion and state - none of those values have been adopted by Qatar!

Hussain Fahmy 6 years ago

Voltaire's curse in on those countries which practice hypocrisy of freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and separation of religion and state. These countries are on the verge of bankruptcy.

Bili 6 years ago

Hôtel Lambert is owned by Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa al Thani - source: Google

AAA 6 years ago

It is Sh. Abdulla Bin Khalifa Al Thani

Ahmad Al Ansari 6 years ago

What do you know about Qatar Paul! I take it you live in Qatar or may be another Arab Gulf State. If this is what you think about Qatar then what are you doing here why do not you just go back to your home country to enjoy the faked freedom of speech and expression, the faked freedom of religion, the faked separation of religion and state and also the excellent economical condition!! We are happy with what we have got so please keep your comments for your self.
The racist spiteful French are so angry with the Qataris who are buying historical property and investing heavily in France. I thought the Qataris, and other Arab States as well, were doing very well by supporting the French collapsing economy but it seems for many French, specially the extremists from the right wings, this is not acceptable and they do not mind to express their hateful and envy attitude openly.

Francois Muller 6 years ago

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.

RAH 6 years ago

Oh? And where do you hail from Paul? From a country that advocates freedom of religion? Does your country have mosques that are free to call out for prayer akin to your church bells ringing on Sundays?
Freedom of expression? Do you come from a country where you have the right to assemble without prior notice to the authorities?
Separation of religion and state? And what has this brought to you guys? Homosexual marriages and the resultant increase in violence against homosexual couples? Free flowing alcohol with no control and the resultant increase in alcohol-abuse deaths? Increase in teenage use of coke and other drugs taking away their future and those of their fellow peers?

Seriously? You look down on Qatar when you really need to look at your own backyard first before looking at us! All gratitude to Almighty Allah, we are not HALF as lost as you guys are in the West.

onefineday 6 years ago

The level of hatred and venom that erupts from RAH against so many people that AB publishes, and even in Ramadan, is something unreal to behold.

I pray he may become a nicer person.

Mark Williams 6 years ago

How many churches are there in Qatar 5 maybe 6? In the UK we have over 1200 Mosques. Who told you they cannot call to prayer? As for church bells these are incumbent to our culture and way of life, that’s not going to change.
Ref Freedom of expression we have the right to assemble with or without permission depending on the purpose and message.
We can also come and go as we please without asking permission from the government (policy in Qatar), we can voice opinion via social media without fear of persecution.

Your hypocrisy is overwhelming, the rights and freedoms offered to Muslims in the UK for eg are huge. They are given passports and a new start, does Qatar offer permanent residency, I don’t think so. As for homosexual marriages, I don’t see what all of that has to do with the damage to a historical building! Do you?.