Chateau Louis XIV in Louveciens Outside Paris is a newly-built mansion intended to mimic the extravagant luxury of the nearby Versailles Palace, which was once the seat of the French royal family.
The 7,000-square-meter property was bought by an unidentified buyer in 2015 for 275 million euros ($300 million at the time), leading Fortune magazine to call it “the world’s most expensive home”.
Bin Salman, 36, was reported to be the final owner two years later by The New York Times through a series of shell companies.
Local government officials confirmed to AFP that the controversial heir to the Saudi throne was staying at the property ahead of his dinner with Macron on Thursday.
Outside the perimeter wall, reporters saw security personnel in suits at the entrance and a large police presence, including half a dozen vehicles.
macros and bin salman The more modest Elysee was set to meet at the presidential palace later on Thursday for talks that critics in France consider inappropriate.
Bin Salman was judged by US intelligence for sanctioning the gruesome murder and dismemberment of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi At the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in 2018.
But after four years as an international pariah, the prince is being loved again by Western leaders as they urgently seek fresh energy supplies to replace lost Russian production.
In a turning point in history, Chateau Louis XIV was built by Khashoggi’s cousin Imad Khashoggi, who runs a luxury property development business in France.
The chateau has a nightclub, a gold-leaf fountain, a cinema, as well as an underwater glass chamber in the moat that resembles a huge aquarium with white leather sofas.
Images on the website of Imad Khashoggi’s company Cogemad also show a wine cellar, although alcohol is strictly prohibited in Saudi Arabia.
Chateau Louis XIV was built in 2009, after the 19th-century palace on the plot was bulldozed.
Bin Salman’s extravagance has been in the news time and again since his emergence as the main powerbroker in Saudi Arabia.
King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud’s son purchased the yacht for $500 million in 2015 and is also reported to be a mystery buyer of a $450 million Leonardo da Vinci painting in 2017.
The latter purchase is officially rejected.