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A dispute over a Qatari prince’s plan to modernize one of the grandest mansions in Paris with an elevator and an underground car park has ended after he ag­reed to rein in the project to address the concerns of conservationists. The French Culture Ministry said Prince Hamad bin Abdullah al-Thani, brother of Qatar’s emir, had signed a deal with a cultural association that had sought to stop his overhaul of the Hotel Lambert, a UNESCO heritage site perched on the Ile Saint Louis Island in the Seine in central Paris.

Under the compromise, French media said the group would withdraw its lawsuit and the prince would be allowed to start renovations his supporters say is badly need to save the Hotel Lambert, an architectural gem where Frederic Chopin played and Voltaire wrote.

French media said Prince Hamad had discarded his idea for a car park and also abandoned his plans to install a bathroom that experts feared would damage precious paintings.

“This is a great day. There have been a lot of improvements,” Jean-Francois Cabestan, an expert for the association that had challenged the prince, was quoted as saying in daily Le Parisien.


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