Chirac to move to riverbank Paris apartment

24th April 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, April 24, 2007 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac, who leaves office next month, is to move from the Elysee palace into an apartment overlooking the river Seine on the capital's Left Bank, Le Parisien newspaper reported Tuesday.

PARIS, April 24, 2007 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac, who leaves office next month, is to move from the Elysee palace into an apartment overlooking the river Seine on the capital's Left Bank, Le Parisien newspaper reported Tuesday.

Chirac's wife Bernadette is already overseeing the moving of the couple's furniture and possessions to the 180 square-metre (1,900 square-feet) apartment, which has a view across the river to the Louvre museum, the paper said.

The building lies not far from the historic Ecole des Beaux Arts (Fine Arts School) and neighbours a number of art galleries. However it is north-facing and fronts onto the Quai Voltaire, which is a major traffic artery.

According to Le Parisien, several photographers stationed outside the apartment were told to leave by police Monday after a complaint from Bernadette Chirac.

The move is a major event for Chirac, 74, who has not lived in his own home for more than 30 years.

In 1974 he was elected prime minister for the first time and moved into the official residence at the Hotel Matignon. Later he had a suite of apartments at the Hotel de Ville when he was Paris mayor for 18 years, and in 1995 he moved as president to the Elysee.

He is to retire after the run-off election on May 6, which is being contested by right-winger Nicolas Sarkozy and Socialist Segolene Royal.

In addition to the Quai Voltaire apartment, he will have access to a suite of offices at the nearby National Assembly as well as at a Foundation for Ecology and Cultural Dialogue which is to be set up in his name later in the year, the paper said.

Meanwhile France's Official Gazette published details of Chirac's personal estate -- in accordance with a 1962 law governing the conduct of presidents when they leave office.

The couple's chateau in the Correze department of southwest France was valued at 500,000 euros (680,000 dollars), and a country cottage in the same region was put at 60,000 euros. A Paris apartment which they owned in 1995 has been made over to their daughter Claude.

The Chiracs declared personal belongings and artworks worth 580,000 euros and 74,000 euros in the bank. They also said they possess a 1984 Peugeot 205.


Copyright AFP

SUbject: French news

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