A new crowd-funding campaign has just saved a crumbling French chateau from ruin. So far, more than 6,500 people have signed up to become co-owners of the Château de la Mothe-Chandeniers, in Dartagnans, at the heart of the Loire Valley.
'It's done, it's historic!,' says a recent announcement on the campaign website. 'The Château de la Mothe-Chandeniers now belongs to thousands of Internet users. Through this collective purchase, we believe in the preservation and development of the heritage of tomorrow and prove that the civic strength is always the greatest.'
Hidden away in the countryside of Les Trois-Moutiers in central western France, the Mothe-Chandeniers chateau is in dire need of renovation. Trees and foliage have completely over-run the property, and its non-listed status has put it at risk of being razed to the ground by any potential developers.
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The project is the first of its kind in France, and was started in 2016 by a local association. Their aim is to rescue the castle and bring it back to its former glory, with all those who sign up acting as its guardians.
It is around this project of rescue, anchored in its territory, and immense possibilities of rehabilitation of the place that Adopts a castle and Dartagnans chose to create a collective project. 'We intend to create a dedicated platform that will allow each owner to monitor the progress of works, events, project proposals and build a real collaborative and participatory project,' say the campaigners. 'To make an abandoned ruin a collective work is the best way to protect it over time.'
Each of the 10,500 internet users that have signed up so far have contributed at least €51 (£45) for shares, raising EUR863,355 – well over the EUR500,000 needed to buy the ruined castle. And there's still an opportunity for you to own your own stake in the abandoned ruin.
Donate now: Sign up for a share in Mothe-Chandeniers
Pledge EUR60 or more and, as well as your share, you'll receive a 'Ma part du Château' box for Christmas. It contains a customisable document so you could give it as a gift, perhaps to a history fan. Or maybe a little one that fancies becoming a Disney-style prince or princess?!
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Amy Cutmore is an experienced interiors editor and writer, who has worked on titles including Ideal Home, Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, GardeningEtc, Top Ten Reviews and Country Life. And she's a winner of the PPA's Digital Content Leader of the Year. A homes journalist for two decades, she has a strong background in technology and appliances, and has a small portfolio of rental properties, so can offer advice to renters and rentees, alike.
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