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Saudi prince unmasked as buyer of the world’s most expensive home in suburb
The buyer of what many have called the world’s most expensive home has been revealed as the Saudi crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman. Through various holding companies, he reportedly paid $300m for the Chateau Louis XIV in Yvelines.
Located in between Marly-le-Roi and Versailles in the west of , the Chateau Louis XIV was believed to be the most expensive home ever sold when it fetched $301 million (€275 million) in 2015. Since then the buyer had remained anonymous.
That was until the New York Times recently wrote that its investigation into the purchase found that although the chateau’s ownership is concealed through various shell companies, the Saudi crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman is the ultimate owner. The paper says that this has been confirmed by advisers close to the Saudi royal family.
The 5,000 m2 property looks like a 17th century chateau but was actually built in the last decade by a Saudi developer. Ten bedroom suites, a grand reception room with a 52-ft high dome ceiling, a library and a wine cellar with space for 3,000 bottles comprise most of the interior, which features marble from France, Italy, Portugal, Brazil and Iran.
Outside, a 57-acre plot (pictured) is in keeping with the styles of the nearby Chateau de Versailles and the Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte. Fountains, a maze and manicured gardens create a picturesque environment that would fool anyone into thinking this was the home of some long-deceased French noble.
It features fountains controlled by iPhone; an indoor cinema and pool; a moat with underground chamber for water life viewing. Forty state-of-the-art surveillance cameras can be viewed from around the world via iPad.
The revelation comes in the middle of a delicate political period in Saudi Arabia. Mohammed Bin Salman has been embarking on what he claims is an anti-corruption drive, detaining dozens of high-ranking officials, businessmen and even fellow royal family members. It has been reported that many have been offered a cash-for-freedom deal, turning in ill-gotten gains in order to be released.