PRESIDENTIAL FORTUNE: French ex-president Giscard d'Estaing auctions château contents


PRESIDENTIAL FORTUNE: French ex-president Giscard d'Estaing auctions château contents
by Darius Kadivar

The former French president Valery Giscard d'Estaing is set to auction the contents of his chateau in the village of Chanonat on Saturday. (Source:

Mr Giscard d'Estaing, 86, is also selling the building itself. The money raised will fund work at his new chateau, in the neighbouring department of the Aveyron.

His aim is to create a foundation there, to perpetuate his name and remind the world of his achievements.

Watch BBC English Report Here






Auctioneer Claude Aguttes describes some
of the items up for sale (English Report):


Giscard Shows around his other Castle (French Report):

L'ancien président Valéry Giscard d'Estaing et son épouse Anne-Aymone ont accueilli samedi dans leur château d'Estaing, en Aveyron, les visiteurs à l'occasion des Journées du patrimoine.

(NOTE : To Watch Double Click Here)









Giscard’s last year of presidency was plagued by the « Bokassa diamond » controversy revealed by French Daily ‘Canard Enchainé’ which ultimately cost him his re election in 1981 losing to Socialist François Mitterand

Giscard’s Diamonds gift from African Emperor Bokassa Revealed by Canard Enchainé :

President Giscard Embarrased by Question on Diamonds on
French TV :

Interview de Giscard, suite à l'affaire dites "des diamants de Bokassa". Comment un président essaye de convaincre les téléspectateurs qu'un médias (le "Canard enchaîné" en l'occurrence) colporte de fausses informations.

Giscard Bids Goodbye to Fellow Compatriots upon his defeat at the 1981 Presidential Elections:

The President’s Farewell was judged far too dramatic given the circumstances and was subject to mockery for years.







Eurodif  Joint Venture (1974):

Shah of Iran Visits French Power Station at Saclay with
French President Giscard D’Estaing (1974) 

Shah and Giscard Meet in Saint Moritz (1975):

Shah of Iran and President Giscard D'estaing of France arriving at the Shah's Swiss Chalet for talks

French Comic Thierry Le Luron’s Parody of Giscard Being Interviewed on Khomeiny :








·       Born in February 1926 in what was then the French-occupied Rhineland in Germany

·       Said to be descended from Louis XV via one of his mistresses

·       Active in the Resistance during World War II and later won a Croix de Guerre decoration

·       Controversially close relationship with self-styled "Emperor" Bokassa of the Central African Republic

·       In 2003 joined the "immortals" of the Academie Francaise, the country's most illustrious cultural institution

·       In 2009 wrote a romantic novel whose characters were thought by some to bear a close resemblance to himself and the late Princess Diana

French ex-president Giscard d'Estaing auctions goods  by Hugh Schofield (bbc)


A blustery autumn day in central France - and a small crowd has gathered in front of an imposing, cream-coloured building in the village of Chanonat, a few miles outside Clermont-Ferrand.

It's a mini-chateau, complete with turrets and a formal garden. A wall screens it from the road.

In a novel set a hundred years ago, it would be the kind of place to find a prosperous family from the provincial haute bourgeoisie, or maybe some forgotten son of the nobility, poring over his objets d'art.

Fitting, therefore, to learn that for most of his life, this has been the home of Valery Giscard d'Estaing - France's most cultivated, and most aristocratic, of recent presidents.

The crowds are here because the chateau de Varvasse is up for sale. The contents are auctioned on Saturday.

Here are seasoned hunters of rare Empire furniture, gouty antique dealers from Paris' Left Bank, collectors of porcelain and books and 19th Century clocks.

But also here are locals. Neighbours of the Giscard d'Estaings going back eight decades; knobbly-faced Auvergnat farmers and their wives, and the curious.

For such people as these, the pre-sale open day is not just a chance to eye up a possible bargain. It's also a once-in-a-lifetime glimpse of the private life of a president.

'Feeling of grandeur'

"Back in the days when he was head of state, the cars used to slow down outside the gates as a mark of respect," says one neighbour.

"It gave the village a feeling of grandeur which we never forgot."

Now aged 86, Mr Giscard d'Estaing is selling off this family home because he has found another one.

A few years ago he acquired the chateau d'Estaing in the neighbouring department of the Aveyron, and he has gradually been moving in.

His aim is to create a foundation at his new chateau, one to perpetuate his name and remind the world of his achievements.

But to complete this task, he needs money. Hence the auction, and a hoped-for 400,000 euros (£319,000; $515,000) in proceeds.

To be truthful, much of what is for sale is of mediocre artistic interest.

The chateau was acquired in 1933 by Mr Giscard d'Estaing's father, who did it up in highly conventional style.

The most precious items have been kept by the family, so what is left is fairly standard country-house fare.

Kissinger, Kohl and Sarkozy

There are exceptions. A Sleeping Ariadne by the 18th Century sculptor Pierre Julien is expected to raise 30,000 euros (£23.8k, $38.5k). An exact replica by the same artist can be seen at Versailles.

A bronze clock by Lepaute, held aloft by two gold-leafed vestal virgins, decorates the mantelpiece in the Charles X drawing room. It should get 15,000 euros (£12k; $19.2k).

The other 400 or so lots include tables, chairs, wall-paper prints, paintings, pottery, as well as curios and knickknacks. Most of it is from the early- and mid-19th Century.

The Giscard d'Estaings have removed every personal trace. No picture of the ex-president, his wife and four children can be seen.

The only exceptions are an antique child's doll, a train-set, and a model battleship.

"It may look like a typical prosperous country house, but of course what is different is that this one belonged to a president," says Claude Aguttes, who is conducting the auction.

"Henry Kissinger sat on one of these sofas. Helmut Kohl was here, Nicolas Sarkozy. There were moments of crisis and moments of hope.

"International decisions were made over the telephone. It is all part of the spirit of the place."

Fans and detractors

For Mr Aguttes, there is no question that the Giscard name carries a certain mystique.

At 48 in 1974, he became the third president of the Fifth Republic in elections that followed the death while in office of President Georges Pompidou.

He was praised as a moderniser and a liberaliser. Abortion was legalised, and technology championed.

But in 1981 he lost to a leftward surge in the electorate, as Francois Mitterrand swept to power.

He became president of the Auvergne regional council, and in the early 2000s helped draw up the proposed European constitution.

But Giscard d'Estaing always had his detractors too. He was seen as impossibly pompous - lofty not just in inches, but in manner too.

The aristocratic d'Estaing - it was pointed out - was not aristocratic at all. The name had been added late to the Giscard, raising accusations of social climbing.

But Mr Aguttes will have none of it.

"No politician ever has 100% support, so of course he has his enemies. But Giscard is an immensely cultivated, polished, persuasive man.

"And he still has many fans in this country. Just look around you. Would all these people be here, if he wasn't a great man?"



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more from Darius Kadivar
Mardom Mazloom

Giscard a une très grande estime de lui-même

by Mardom Mazloom on

On n'oubliera pas

- qu'il n'a pas pu briguer un deuxième mandat à l'Elysée surtout à cause de son incapacité à diriger

- qu'il était trempé jusqu'au cou dans  diverses affaires douteuses et de corruption (Diamants Bokassa)

- qu'il a accueilli le satan à Neauphle-le-Château et qu'il était un des principaux investigateurs de la chute du Shah, khoda biamorz

Il peut ériger des châteaux en son propre honneur, prétendre qu'il est très intelligent puisqu'après 4 fois il a pu finalement faire polytechiqye; mais un petit homme restera toujours un petit homme ! Le Shah y veillera de là haut ;)


Une vente sans les Diams de Bokassa ?! puuuufffff

by Shemirani on

Maurice Druon l'immortel avait écrit ceci :

Quel accès d’humilité, assez inattendu, vient-il de pousser M. Valéry Giscard d’Estaing à se présenter à l’Académie française ? Voilà un ancien président de la République qui, lorsqu’il donnait à déjeuner à l’Élysée, ne faisait asseoir personne en face de lui et prenait son repas devant une place vide, comme le roi à Versailles.

D’autres encore, particulièrement sensibles aux drames du Proche et Moyen-Orient et aux ravages des fanatismes musulmans, peuvent difficilement effacer de leur mémoire l’installation, sous Giscard, de l’ayatollah Khomeiny à Neauphle-le-Château, avec tous les moyens de diffuser sa révolution islamique


Pour moi, il est évident que la "folie des grandeurs" et le snobisme démesuré de VGE était certainement la raison à sa détestation du monarque d'Iran, causant ainsi le désastre et la désolation que nous connaissont en Iran depuis 1979 !

La fondation VGE va t'il servir à islamiser la Lune maintenant, que cela ne m'étonnera pas !!!!!