The 140,000-square-foot (13,000-square-meter) Chateau de Bellevue in the wine-making village of Yvrac boasted intricate stone balustrades and a great hall that could host up to 200 people. The current owner, Russian businessman Dmitry Stroskin, had gotten a planning permit to destroy a tiny outhouse on the property while repairing the main chateau. While Stroskin was out of town last month, the construction company misinterpreted the request and demolished the baroque chateau.
Yvrac mayor Claude Carty said that the destruction was “done very quickly, in two or three days,” calling the event “regrettable and abnormal,” The Guardian reported. The town hall has filed a legal complaint, and all site work has been stopped while state officials investigate what happened.
“The Chateau de Bellevue was Yvrac’s pride and joy,” former owner Juliette Marmie told the Associated Press. “The whole village is in shock.”
Stroskin aims to build a copy of the lost treasure, a project that would take two years. He told local paper Sud Ouest that he would not blame anyone for the mix-up, since “the damage has been done.” Literally.