Members of the Comte de Paris’ family are trying to cancel the legacy of the Chantilly estate to the Institut de France and recover full ownership, their lawyer said on Thursday, confirming information from Le Canard Enchaîné.
Since August, the Chantilly estate has been the subject of a preliminary investigation by the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF) for “understanding and favoritism”, which is interested in the conditions under which a call for tenders aimed at granting the Enghien pavilion to make it a luxury hotel was organized.
Distant heirs of the Duke of Aumale and son of Henri d’Orléans, Count of Paris who died in 2019, the brothers Eudes and Jean d’Orléans consider that the transformation of the Château d’Enghien into a luxury hotel is a “sprain” to the initial legacy of October 25, 1886, which effectively invalidates the legacy.
The Chantilly estate is indeed endowed with a very special status.
Henri d’Orléans, Duke of Aumale (1822-1897), had bequeathed in 1886 by will the immense domain, its castle, its annexes and all its collections to the Institut de France.
But he had conditioned this bequest to very strict rules, prohibiting the loan, sale or travel of the thousands of objects and paintings, to modify the hanging of the paintings or to make any change in the exterior or interior architecture. .
If ever the will of Henri d’Orléans was violated, “the present donation would be revoked and the donor and his heirs would immediately recover full ownership” of all buildings and objects, the will warned.
In a letter sent in November to the national financial prosecutor, Jean-François Bohnert, Eudes and Jean d’Orléans recalled the conditions of this legacy and expressed their “growing concern”, also evoking “suspicions of the disappearance of works “.
Therefore, they asked to be considered as “direct victims” of offenses that may have been committed in the field and to intervene as such in the PNF investigation.
The latter was opened in particular to verify that the call for tenders, launched in April by the Institut de France led by former minister Xavier Darcos and abandoned since, had not been falsified as Didier Selles suspects.
The latter spoke of his doubts in his letter of resignation from the post of administrator of the domain, dated July 14 and revealed by the Chained Duck.
“If the estate of Chantilly is as badly managed as rumors say, a lasting solution must be found to save this jewel of French history,” Olivier Baratelli, a lawyer for the Duke’s heirs, told AFP of Aumale.
“If the facts are true, it is expected that the family will recover the entire estate,” he said.
“It will then remain to be determined to whom to entrust its management: the Family of France is open to finding a French administration or institution, worthy of trust and capable of better offering the visit of the greatest number of this historic jewel”, he added. he adds.
Contacted by AFP, the Institut de France declined to comment.