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Historic French chateau accidentally bulldozed

17:00 Thu Dec 6 2012
Bernadette Chua
Historic French chateau accidentally bulldozed
Historic French chateau accidentally bulldozed

An 18th-century French chateau has been bulldozed "by mistake" after builders who were hired to renovate the manor misunderstood instructions.

The owner of the baroque-style chateau, Russian businessman Dmitry Stroskin, hired a construction company to restore it and asked for a smaller building on the grounds of the estate to be demolished.

Mr Stroskin was away at the time of the mix up and returned to find his chateau bulldozed to the ground.

"I'm in shock…I understand the turmoil of the community," he told local newspaper Sud Ouest.

"Even if it was in a very bad state, I had wanted to renovate it."

Claude Carty, the mayor of Yvrac in Bordeaux, has launched an investigation into why the chateau was destroyed.

"A building permit for renovation was indeed delivered in June 2011," he said.

"It simply authorised the destruction of a tiny part of the outhouses."

Some locals are concerned that the demolition was done on purpose and local authorities have lodged a complaint over the breach of the town's building code with prosecutors.

The chateau's former owner, Juliette Marmie, told the Associated Press the incident had left the whole village in shock.

"The Chateau de Bellevue was Yvrac's pride and joy," she said.

"How can this construction firm make such a mistake?"

Mr Stroskin intends to build a replica of the 13,000sqm building which included a grand hall that could host up to 200 people.

Sources: Associated Press, The Telegraph