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Armenian Government Invests €23M to Purchase Former French President's Mansion for Paris Embassy Expansion


Armenian Government Invests €23M to Purchase Former French President's Mansion for Paris Embassy Expansion

The Armenian government has approved the acquisition of a service building in Paris for 23 million euros to enhance its embassy facilities. The decision was finalized during Thursday's Cabinet meeting, signaling a strategic move to bolster diplomatic presence and accommodate the evolving needs of Armenian-French relations.


Armenian Government Invests €23M to Purchase Former French President's Mansion for Paris Embassy Expansion

Allocating Armenian drams equivalent to 23 million euros from the reserve fund of the 2024 state budget, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) will oversee the purchase of the proposed building, strategically located in the esteemed 16th arrondissement of Paris. Notably, this building holds historical significance as it has been in possession since 1956 by the third President of France, Valery Giscard d'Estaing.



The decision to acquire this property was influenced by the necessity to address the insufficient conditions of the current embassy building, which has been utilized by Armenia under a contract expiring in 2025. The Deputy Foreign Minister, Mnatsakan Safaryan, emphasized that the current premises were offered free of charge and house permanent representations in UNESCO and La Francophonie, making the need for expansion imperative.


The purchase, approved by the government, follows extensive negotiations, with the seller agreeing to the 23 million euros price tag. Reputable appraisal organizations estimate the real value of the building to significantly exceed this amount, according to statements from the Armenian government.


The entire acquisition process, from signing the agreement of intent to sell to the state registration of rights, is anticipated to take approximately three to four months. The transaction will also require state payments equivalent to 7.5% of the building's value for implementation.


This investment not only aligns with the growing diplomatic ties between Armenia and France but also shows Armenia's commitment to fostering international relations. 


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In a unique historical context, back in 2012, former French President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing decided to sell his castle, Château de Varvasse, in the village of Chanonat. The 15th-century castle was auctioned, offering collectors and enthusiasts a rare opportunity to own pieces of history associated with the esteemed French statesman.


The auction featured a diverse array of items, from neoclassical marble sculptures and Empire-style wallpaper prints to gilded bronze timepieces and English-made terrestrial and celestial globes. Beyond high-ticket items, the auction presented treasures accessible to a variety of budgets, including dinner china, silverware, secretaries, side tables, vases, engravings, and rugs.


Auctioneer Claude Aguttes, with 40 years of experience, noted the uniqueness of such a vast public auction for a French president. The auction, held on the castle grounds, drew a diverse crowd, emphasizing the significance of the seller, Valéry Giscard d'Estaing.


As the Armenian government embarks on its own historic acquisition, there are echoes of Giscard d'Estaing's legacy in utilizing such investments to bolster diplomatic efforts and contribute to lasting legacies.

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