Twelve of the most important lots from Sassenage banned from sale

27/5/08 — Heritage — Château de Sassenage — The Tribunal d’Instance of Paris has released yesterday its ruling concerning the sale of furnishings from Sassenage (see article in French). It in fact has issued a ban preventing the Fondation de France from proceeding with the sale of the furniture and objects […] carrying lot numbers 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 189, 194, 199, 200, 204 and 205. These are indeed protected assets due to their listing as Monuments Historiques and furniture of interest to the region (including that by the Hache family).

This decision is only a partial victory for national heritage supporters. Unfortunately, the appeal should have addressed the entire sale because this ruling shows that it is indeed debatable as a whole. The Conseil Général de l’Isère will no doubt take further measures in their attempt to have the whole auction cancelled, even if it is a posteriori. We wish them all success in their venture. Potential buyers at the auction should thus be aware of the fact that it might be cancelled.

The Fondation de France has reacted in a press statement in which it affirms its “concern for the future of the Château de Sassenage” (sic) The statement recalls – firmly contested by Jean Guibal, head curator of national heritage and director of Culture et Patrimoine de l’ Isère – that the Fondation de France had offered on two occasions, in 2004 and 2008, to take back the entire estate from the Conseil Général de l’Isère along with the 1,500,000 € of the remaining capital. The Fondation de France states that “2,270,000 € were spent until 2002 for the many restorations and upkeep of the domain, château and park which are listed as monuments historiques” and that “since 2002 it has spent 685,350 € in preserving the domain of the château”.
We wonder how the management of the estate allowed a capital of 13 million francs in 1971 corresponding to a sum of 11,880,000€ today (source : site to fall to the current 1,500,000€. If it were not so incredible, one might almost think they are deliberately trying to discourage future patrons.

Version française

Didier Rykner, mardi 27 mai 2008

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