“When I dream of an afterlife in heaven, the action always takes place at the Ritz, Paris.” Ernest Hemingway wrote. I wonder whether he would offer the same opinion today, or perhaps he would consider some of the latest episodes in this new era of the Ritz as definitely worthy of a novel.
I am not quite sure why I should have been on the list, but a few days ago I received an email notification informing me that the Ritz in Paris is selling off at auction a large collection of furniture, bathroom accessories, lights and decorations from the hotel’s past. The hotel has recently undergone a four-year renovation, closing for the first time in its history between 1st August 2012 and June 2016. The renovations cost in the region of 220 million dollars and are the first since the late 1980s.
The auction will include more than a century’s worth of history in amongst the luxury items and will take place from 17th to 21st April at the Artcurial headquarters on the Ronds-Points des Champs-Elysées, 8th arrondissement, Paris.
If you are interested, there is a varied collection of furnishings and furnitures, some of which they expect to go under the hammer for around 600 euros while other pieces are price-estimated in the thousands.
I shan’t be attending or bidding. However, I am fascinated by the history of this iconic hotel.
The Egyptian, Mohamed Al-Fayed, once owner of Harrods, has been the Ritz’s proprietor since 1979 when he bought the hotel for 30 million dollars. During this time, it is has been stained with one or two scandals. Jonathan Aitken, former Conservative Member of Parliament in the UK, was jailed for perjury after a long drawn out trial and public investigation into his stay at the Ritz in Paris while Lebanese and Saudi Arabian arms dealers were also residing there…