Russia ups its bid for Rachmaninov’s Swiss villamain
The Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinski has told Izvestia that a bid of 17 million Swiss francs (US$19m) has gone in for the composer’s summer retreat on Lake Lucerne, known as Senar.
Medinski added that the purchase was being carried out by a group of anonymous wealthy men, following an instruction by President Putin to the Culture Ministry in October 2013. The building would be effectively state-owned and operated as a memorial to the late composer, who refused to return to Russia after the Bolshevik revolution. The estate was originally priced at 16 million francs. This may become a bidding war.
The villa, in Bauhaus style, was a haven for famous musicians during the ominous summer months of the 1930s. It was put up for sale after the death of Rachmaninov’s grandson Alexandre in November 2012.