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French president sells wine cellar to balance budget

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-05-01

France’s Elysée presidential palace is set to auction off its wine cellar to fund a cheaper collection and return some money to the French state, a Paris auction house said Tuesday. The 1,200 bottles are set to go on sale May 30 and 31.

Wines from the French presidential cellar will be auctioned off in Paris next month with 1,200 bottles on offer, auctioneers Drouot said on Tuesday.

The goal of the sale, which will take place on May 30 and 31, is to allow the Elysée Palace to refresh its wine collection without drawing on public funds. The sale could be viewed as a symbolic move by the French presidency in a time of biting austerity and with a ballooning public deficit.

“In the spirit of good management, the proceeds of this sale will be reinvested in more modest wines,” Drouot said, adding that any funds not used will be returned to the French state.

The estimated value of the various wines up for auction ranges from a modest 15 euros to 2,200 euros ($2,800) for a Petrus 1990, Drouot said in a statement. The wines on offer represent a tenth of the presidential cellar, it said.

All those on offer, largely Burgundy and Bordeaux, but also including wines from the Loire and Alsace, have been served at the table of the French president at one time or another, Drouot said.

The Elysée Palace’s wine cellar was created in 1947 and renovated in 1995.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

Date created : 2013-04-30

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