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Russian buys world's costliest home

Posted by Reporting by Brian Rohan; editing by Andrew Dobbie on 2008/08/18 | Views: 1920 |

Russian buys world's costliest home


Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov has made headlines in France by buying a house described by French media as the world's most expensive home.

Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov has made headlines in France by buying a house described by French media as the world's most expensive home.

Newspapers said on Monday Prokhorov, 43, paid 496 million euros ($730.4 million) for a property in southern France called Villa Leopolda, built in 1902 for Belgian King Leopold II.

The sale puts the nine-hectare (22-acre) estate at the top of Forbes magazine's most expensive homes list, ahead of a California house once owned by publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst, and a Romanian castle where Vlad the Impaler was imprisoned.

Prokhorov made his estimated $22-billon fortune during the economic free-for-all in Russia in the 1990s, when businessmen bought up parts of Soviet industry at a fraction of their real value.

The unmarried mining tycoon, who plans to celebrate self-made men by launching a magazine called Snob, attracted media attention last year when French police raided a lavish party he was throwing at the ski resort of Courchevel.

He was held him briefly as part of an investigation into prostitution at the resort before being released without charge.

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