The Hôtel de la Marine will indeed be rented on a long-term basis

31/3/09 – Heritage – Hôtel de la Marine – During a press conference held on 26 March, to which we were not invited, the Minister of Defense Hervé Morin confirmed the news published on this site although it had been denied by his offices on 18 February (see article). The decision to “put up for rent based on a long-term lease” the Hôtel de la Marine has indeed been made. Therefore, the associations for heritage protection, and even more extensively, all French citizens should rally together to fight what will certainly be one of the greatest patrimonial scandals of this presidential term, already guilty of several others.

Libération of 27/3/09 points out that one of the leading candidates for a takeover of the building is the group Royal Monceau, advised by Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres. This information came to us from a source involved in the case and we had contacted the company before writing our first article. Their communications department had at that time denied any interest in the monument. Since then, the same source had stated to us that this was not the most likely lead. The former Culture Minister, Donnedieu de Vabres, himself confirmed on the C.V. published on his blog that he is “Adviser for strategy and development for Alexandre Allard”, C.E.O. of this hotel firm. He thus continues to act against the best interests of our national heritage, even in his private business dealings. Will the current minister, whose offices had “no information to give on the matter”, react at last ? We have our doubts.

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Didier Rykner, mardi 31 mars 2009

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