PARIS, June 2. /TASS/. The Chateau de la Garoupe castle in Côte d’Azur, previously owned by late Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky will be auctioned off in France, the Nice-Matin newspaper reported on Friday.
Buyers interested in purchasing the property "are to put their bids in with the Agency of seized and confiscated valuables management (AGRASC) from June 16 to July 17," the newspaper said.
The castle, "a gem of the French Riviera, was built for an English lord," Nice-Matin reports. Painter Pablo Picasso, composer Cole Porter and writer Ernest Hemingway have all visited the chateau in Antibes.
Berezovsky originally purchased the Chateau de la Garoupe in 1996 for 8.4 mln euro, the news outlet said. The castle and the bell tower nearby were confiscated in 2015 in connection with a money laundering probe into French realtor Jean-Louis Bordes, who became a proxy for Berezovsky, the real owner. That same year, Bordes was given a two-year suspended sentence and a huge penalty for criminal conspiracy and money laundering.
France opened an investigation into Berezovsky in 2011 at the request of the Russian Office of the General Prosecutor. The ex-oligarch’s property - two yachts and his estate near Antibes in the French Riviera, were seized. Informed sources said at that time that the value of these assets was 74 mln euro.
Berezovsky, wanted by Russia since April 1999, was found dead in his cottage near London in March 2013.