Ownership of Paris Leuville Chateau to Be Transferred to Georgia

The ownership of the Leuville Chateau, which is located near Paris, is expected to be transferred to Georgia on the county’s Independence Day. The announcement came during the visit to the Georgian Embassy of France of State Minister for Diaspora Issues, Gela Dumbadze, and Minister of Justice of Georgia, Tea Tsulukiani, mid-February.

Descendants of the members of the first government of the Georgian Democratic Republic, Members of the Board of Trustees of Leuville, attended the meeting along with the ministers. The final meeting and the agreement regarding transfer of ownership of the Leuville Chateau is expected in April.

The Georgian Government first acquired the Leuville Chateau at the beginning of the 20th century, when members of the Menshevik government left Georgia due to the Sovietization of the country, emigrating to France in March 1921. Also on the territory of the estate is a Georgian cemetery ‘Leuville-sur-Orge,’ where the remains of hundreds of immigrants have been laid to rest.

“This is tremendous progress for us to be able to talk about the possibility of signing a contract. And it would be significant to have the moment of transfer coincide with the 25th anniversary of Georgia’s independence, which will be celebrated on May 26,” said Minister Tsulukiani.

The first information about the Leuville Chateau’s return to Georgia came in 2004, when the Board of Trustees of Leuville sent a letter to the Georgian government in which they said that they had never considered the Leuville as their property. “According to the decision of the first government of the Georgian Democratic Republic, we only temporarily owned the estate until the restoration of our country’s independence,” the letter said.

The Office of the State Minister of Georgia for Diaspora Issues announced that the Leuville Chateau is to be turned into a Georgian academy for Georgian artists and historians. “It will be a kind of analogue of the Roma’s Villa Medici,” stated the Ministry. Minister Dumbadze himself noted that the Leuville Chateau is a place of extreme importance for Georgia, a little part of Georgia in France.

The Government of Georgia has allocated more than EUR 100,000 to maintain the venue and carry out works towards the above-mentioned future project.

Eka Karsaulidze

25 February 2016 19:01