Paris Art Complex R4 Signs Deal With New Financial Backer

Chief investor Yves Bouvier sold his stake amid legal troubles.

Render of R4. Photo ©Ateliers Jean Nouvel.
Render of R4. Photo ©Ateliers Jean Nouvel.

Eurosia, a company chaired by the infamous Swiss businessman Yves Bouvier, has sold its entire stake in R4—the huge ‘Art City’ development currently being built in Paris—to the Emerige Group and its financial partner, Addax and Oryx Group Limited (AOG).

In a joint announcement, Nelly Wenger, ex-head of R4, and Laurent Dumas, president and founder of the real estate company Emerige, stated that a takeover agreement between the two parties had been reached, according to the Art Newspaper.

R4, named after the Renault factory that used to sit on Île Seguin, a coveted piece of Parisian real estate, has had multiple problems since winning an initial legal battle over environmental concerns. There have also been a number of legal claims filed by companies associated with the construction of the site, causing multiple delays.

The Jean Nouvel-designed project was initially intended to cover an 8,450 square-meter area of land, hosting a 19,300 square-meter space across 8 floors and a rooftop. The space would host an exhibition hall, a sculpture park, a performing arts venue, offices, an auction salesroom, and private gallery space. Also in the original plans were 4,500 square meters of storage and art handling space, with some public access. Emerige Group, however, told Le Journal Des Arts that the decisions are yet to be finalized.

Construction at the site is currently halted, as the permits needed to continue have not been filed and construction is not expected to resume until next spring.

Yves Bouvier stepped down from his position running Luxembourg's Le Freeport in 2015. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Yves Bouvier stepped down from his position running Luxembourg’s Le Freeport in 2015.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The sale, which frees the project from its association from the disgraced Bouvier, also sees the project passed into the hands of another French collector: Dumas, who is reportedly thrilled to take over stewardship of the project.

Bouvier has been subject to a seemingly endless series of revelations, accusations, and allegations regarding dodgy financial transactions and handling of stolen goods, to the extent that his misdemeanors are now collectively referred to as “The Bouvier Affair.”

According to TAN, Wenger had been searching for a buyer for the project for some months now, narrowing the search down to three before striking this deal with Dumas.


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