The estate had been falling into disrepair since 1897, when its last private owner, Henri d’Orleans, left it to the cash strapped organisation, Institut de France. Strict instructions were given that nothing should be sold, lent and no painting should be moved more than 10cm. The estate has been running at a deficit for years and the Aga Khan stepped in when there was talk of the historic horse racing course closing down.
The spiritual leader of the world’s 15m Ismaili muslims, the Aga Khan, has lived and stabled his horses nearby for years. He called in two consulting companies and, with their help, masterminded a plan to relaunch the estate.
He has donated around €40m (£27.4m, $43m) to the project, more than half the €70 (£57m, $92m) set up costs.
The new hotel, the Auberge du Jeu de Paume, which has been designed and constructed in an 18th century style, to blend into the historical surroundings.