The sprawling French estate, L'Antre du Minotaure, which was once owned by Pablo Picasso and was a regular holiday destination of Winston Churchill, has been sold for an undisclosed sum to Brunei financier Rayo Withanage.
The property will be used for charity work, local foundations and for promoting the arts.
Regarded as one of the finest properties in the south of France, the estate was most recently owned by the Dutch real estate entrepreneur Tom Moeskops and BMB Alliance. It was recently refurbished by architect Axel Vervoordt.
Covering more than three hectares, with olive groves that are over 500 years old, the estate is the largest property of its kind in the area.
Picasso maintained a busy studios in the main house, and lived there with his wife Jacqueline and her daughter Cathérine. The house and the gardens were designed by Picasso, and retain original art and furniture. The gardens are famous throughout France, and contain some of the largest wisteria trees in Europe, as well as a species of rose cultivated by Picasso himself that grows only on the property.
The new owner, Rayo Withanage, is the founder and chairman of Scepter Partners, a direct investment and merchant bank for sovereign investors. He is also a founder of The BMB Group alongside HH Prince Abdul Ali Yil Kabier of the Brunei Royal Family.
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