|Patrick Gerard and Mayor Novelli sign the agreement|
Patrick Gerard, Rector of the Universities of Paris, and Richelieu's Maire Novelli have finalized the binding agreements which endure for a period of thirty years; the Sorbonne remains as owner, in co-operation with with both the two local authorities, the Conseil Général of the Départment of Indre-et-Loire (who until recently covered the maintenance costs), and the Town and Communes of Richelieu. The Town & Communes will now take on the responsibility for these costs, as the Conseil Général has now ceased financial contributions - from the end of year 2012. It had shouldered these since former arrangements made in 2005.
This conclusion ends the worrying uncertainty about the future of the château de Richelieu and parc's historic building complex, which are inseparable from the history of the town of Richelieu and the history of the whole district.
Patrick Gerard said that the Universities of Paris no longer wished to bear a financial burden that they think is incompatible with their current teaching activities. So they had initially planned to sell the property, as has been done recently with another château in the département of Sarthe.
It was not found financially feasible for the Cité and the Community de Communes to fully acquire this important and historic area from the Sorbonne. The compromise that has finally been found helps keep the parc and château in the interests of the entire 'Pays de Richelieu'. Although the full annual bill will exceed 100,000 € - costs related to the fact that the staff remain in place - it will be necessary to find partners and new users of the site to find a new fiscal balance.
For Hervé Novelli, this outcome is: "Both an ending and a beginning", which avoids a split between the population and it's park, while remaining true to the spirit of the Cardinal.
from Nouvelle Republique