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Chateau Accidentally Demolished

BORDEAUX — Builders sent in to renovate an 18th-century chateau in France's Bordeaux wine region reduced it to rubble instead, the Russian owner of the property said.

Businessman Dmitry Stroskin told a local newspaper he was shocked to learn that workers who were supposed to tear down a small structure on the property and renovate part of the main building had instead bulldozed the larger structure, wiping Chateau Bellevue off the map.

"He told me that he was really surprised, that this was an accident and he was the principal victim," said Claude Carty, mayor of the village where the chateau used to stand.

Stroskin runs an export business and is based in Poland. He said he will build a replica of the chateau, which was rented out for weddings under previous ownership.

"I will rebuild Bellevue exactly as it was," Stroskin told the newspaper SudOuest, which spoke of a rebuilding contract worth 1.5 million euros ($1.96 million).

Locals sent angry messages to the newspaper's website, many airing doubts that the demolition was a blunder.

"He'll need a new building permit," Carty said.

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