Debts, works, guardianship: can the Bogdanoff brothers' castle really be saved?

Debts, works, guardianship: can the Bogdanoff brothers' castle really be saved?

the essential Three mortgages, a company in liquidation, broken promises: the Château d’Esclignac is falling into ruin. But the question of saving it turns out to be thorny…

The son of Igor Bogdanoff, Wencelsas Bogdanoff has been mandated by the Paris Commercial Court to file a file with the Ministry of Culture so that the Château d’Esclignac (historical monument), located in Monfort, can benefit from a protection “. In exchange, the Bogdanoff family will allow access to the castle in order to receive tourist visits and certain events. The castle had been acquired by Igor and Grischka in 1986 for around 300,000 euros.

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“The consideration for this would be for the State to take over all or part of the work necessary for its conservation”, indicates the lawyer for Igor Bogdanoff’s daughter, Sasha, Me Emmanuel Ludot. The latter specifies that the amount of support for this rehabilitation will depend on the investigation carried out on site by the architect of the buildings of France as well as the regional direction of cultural affairs (DRAC).

Three mortgages on the castle

To reimburse the property taxes due to the public treasury, the two Bogdanoff brothers had mortgaged the castle three times, in 2019, in 2020 and in 2021. According to the land registration and registration service, and to date as of Monday, March 27, the amount of debts related to these mortgages amounted to 21,791 euros. For the Parisian lawyer, it is quite simply nonsense. Explanations. The castle is owned by the private partnership (SNC) “Saint-Lary”, created by the two brothers in 1986, when they bought the castle. However, a liquidation procedure was put in place in November 2021.

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Château d’Esclignac is now under the responsibility of a liquidator. According to Me Ludot, the company will no longer be in compulsory liquidation on April 19. “The debts have been paid for at least two to three months,” he says. But the lawyer affirms that the castle, being classified, “is exempt from property taxes. “Cédric Davant-Lannes, of the association for the preservation of Gascon heritage, is categorical: “The castle is registered but not classified”, a nuance which could have its consequences on the procedure mentioned by Me Ludot.

Will the state take over?

So why mortgage the building to pay property taxes? For the lawyer, a lack of information is surely at the origin of all this. “The relief was never requested. An appeal was launched by the lawyer in order to obtain reparations.

Several million euros just for the roof, thousands of euros more for the windows, not to mention the maintenance of the ten hectares: the rehabilitation will be expensive. Cédric Davant-Lannes worked for a long time to try to save the thousand-year-old building. He had even offered to buy the castle for 800,000 euros. “Igor had to write a check for 100,000 euros for the roof, I’ve never seen a penny of it,” says the Gersois.

The roof is in poor condition.
The roof is in poor condition. DDM – A.B

“We, what we would like is for the castle to be sold,” he said. Every minute that passes, the risk that the castle breaks the face increases. Some time ago, an auction was to take place, a buyer had offered the tidy sum of 1.8 million euros to acquire the building. Finally, the auction was canceled, much to the dismay of Cédric Davant-Lannes.

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And for him, placing the place under guardianship is simply inconceivable. “The state does not have the legal capacity to replace an owner to do the work. The Bogdanoffs can pay for the work and when they have the invoice paid, the State will pay 20% of it, the story of “give and take”, it is blank. »

For Me Ludot, it would not be a question of a substitution but rather of a “provision provided for by the heritage code which allows the work to be taken over by the State”. If the guardianship procedure works, a Foundation could be created in memory of the twins. But a question now arises: who will pay?

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