Monday, July 02, 2007

Selling out Dracula?

Bran Castle was built in the 14th century to serve as a fortress to protect against the invading Ottoman Turks. The royal family moved into the castle in the 1920s, living there until the communist regime confiscated it from Princess Ileana in 1948.

After being restored in the late 1980s and following the end of communist rule in Romania, it gained popularity as a tourist attraction known as "Dracula's Castle."

In May 2006, the castle was returned to Princess Ileana's son, New York architect Archduke Dominic Habsburg. He pledged to keep it open as a museum until 2009.

Habsburg, 69, offered to sell the castle last year to local authorities for $80 million, but the offer was rejected.

On Monday, he put the castle up for sale "to the right purchaser under the right circumstances," said Michael Gardner, chief executive of Baytree Capital, the company representing Habsburg. "The Habsburgs are not in the business of managing a museum."

Big deal. The vaunted Vlad only spent one night in Bran Castle. I want to know why the government doesn't restore the actual Castle Dracula. I recall seeing pictures of the ruins from Leonard Wolfe's old book on the historic Dracula...

No comments: