Builders demolish Russian oligarch's French chateau

Chateau de Bellevue
Image caption The original 13,000 sq m chateau was due to be renovated

Polish builders have demolished an 18th Century chateau in Bordeaux belonging to a Russian businessman, apparently by mistake.

Owner Dmitry Stroskin said he was shocked and had only ordered them to knock down an adjacent outhouse.

The local mayor in the nearby French village of Yvrac is said to be furious.

Chateau de Bellevue had been due to be renovated to its former glory - Mr Stroskin has said he will rebuild it exactly as it was.

The original 13,000 sq m chateau, which featured grand horseshoe steps and a once palatial ballroom, was previously hired out for wedding receptions and functions.

It sat within an imposing vineyard estate, where now only the rundown outhouse is still standing.

"The Chateau de Bellevue was Yvrac's pride and joy, the whole village is in shock," former owner Juliette Marmie told Associated Press. "How can this construction firm make such a mistake?"

Mr Stroskin has told local media that he is "in shock" and understands the locals' feelings.

French prosecutors are reported to be investigating whether there was a breach of the building code.