Daily Buzz

Gaffe of the Week: 18th-century French chateau bulldozed by mistake

When you are renovating your house, it's important to be on the same page as the contractor and construction workers or you may end up with the wrong paint colour or a sink in the wrong spot. However, those are incredibly small issues compared to those of a Russian millionaire businessman who owned an 18th-century chateau.

Dmitry Stroskin was planning to restore the manor to its former baroque glory, but when he arrived in Yvrac, France, to check on the progress, all that was left was rubble.

"I'm in shock," he said.

[ Last week's gaffe: Oklahoma's Ten Commandments come with typos ]

According to local media, the construction company misunderstood the renovation plans. The Polish building firm was supposed to demolish a separate, smaller building on the property and renovate the main building, but instead they left that smaller building standing and attacked the main building with a wrecking ball.

"The Chateau de Bellevue was Yvrac's pride and joy," said former owner Juliette Marmie to The Associated Press. "The whole village is in shock. How can this construction firm make such a mistake?"

The main building used to be 140,000 square feet with twin outside staircases and arched entrances.

The Telegraph reports Stroskin spent years scouring the Bordeaux area for his ideal chateau before finding this one and falling in love with it.

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The residents are angry  and some think it's more than an innocent mistake. Local authorities have halted all work on the site and launched an investigation.

Stroskin doesn't plan to sue the construction company, but has vowed to rebuild the chateau including its grand hall, which could host up to 200 people.

For demolishing the wrong building, which just so happened to be built in the 18th century, these Polish builders are awarded the Gaffe of the Week. We commemorate this with a statue of Rob Ford in butter.

(Image of Chateau de Bellevue courtesy of Bordeau Undiscovered Wine Shop)

Gaffe of the Week runs each Thursday on Yahoo! Canada News.

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