France Seizes Roman Abramovich’s $120 Million Mansion on the French Riviera as Sanctions Against the Oligarch Art Collector Mount


France has seized Roman Abramovich’s $120 million mansion on the French Riviera, Château de la Croë, as sanctions continue for the Russian oligarch and art collector.

It’s one of a dozen French properties owned by Abramovich that France has seized in recent weeks as it cracks down on Russian assets to penalize Vladimir Putin and his enablers for the invasion of Ukraine. The news was first reported by Le Parisien.

Architect Armand-Albert Rateau built the 12-bedroom mansion in 1927 for Pomeroy Burton, a British newspaper magnate, on the Cap d’Antibes peninsula in the south of France.

France seized Roman Abramovich’s mansion property, the Château de la Croë, on the Cap d’Antibes peninsula in the south of France. Photo by Pool Benainous/Duclos/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images.

From 1938 to 1950, the seaside property was home to the Duke and Duchess of Windsor after the Duke’s abdication as King Edward VIII. The couple hosted a 40th wedding anniversary party for Winston and Clementine Churchill at the chateau in 1948.

The next owner was Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, from 1950 to 1957, followed by his brother-in-law and business rival Stavros Niarchos. But the property was abandoned and fell into disrepair after a fire in the 1970s.

Abramovich, who founded Moscow’s Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in 2008 with his then-wife Dasha Zhukova, purchased the historic home in 2001. He reportedly spent €100 million ($109 million) on renovations, including a new rooftop swimming pool, gym, and home cinema.

Roman Abramovich and Dasha Zhukova in 2017 in Moscow, Russia. Photo by Team Boyko/Getty Images.

So far, France has either confiscated or frozen billions of dollars worth of Russian assets, including 33 homes, according to its Economy and Finance Ministry.

“[The seized assets] include homes, superyachts and helicopters, and add up to well over €25 billion [$27 billion],” a ministry source told the Daily Mail.

The U.K. has also issued sanctions against Abramovich (and six other wealthy Russian billionaires), which have forced him to sell his Chelsea football club. The U.S. has also frozen Abramovich’s bank accounts.

Abramovich has been involved in Ukrainian peace talks, and was allegedly poisoned last month during negotiations between Kyiv and Moscow.

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