15 Apr 2013

Restoration funding being raised from auction

9:01 am on 15 April 2013

Hotel Crillon in Paris is selling most of its furniture and fine wines this week to raise funds for a lengthy restoration.

The last guests left in March, when the hotel closed for two years.

Full suites of furniture are on display before a series of auctions scheduled from 18 - 22 April, with about 3500 lots including carpets and curtains. Reception counters, staff uniforms and bathrobes will also be for sale.

A highlight is a mirror-encrusted bar designed by 20th-century sculptor Cesar, who gave his name to the annual French film awards, similar to the Oscars.

His signature is inscribed on the glass front of the bar, beneath a perspex panel.

A large part of the Crillon's wine and spirit cellar is likely to be snapped up by connoisseurs.

Dominating one side of Place de la Concorde, the Crillon was built as a private home under French King Louis XV in 1758. Queen Marie Antoinette took music lessons on its first floor.

It was converted into a hotel in 1909.