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NYC Mansion Owned by French Billionaire Guy Wildenstein Sells for $26.1M

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NYC Mansion Owned by French Billionaire Guy Wildenstein Sells for $26.1M

By:  Benyamin Davidsons

The mansion belonging to a controversial art dealer has finally sold, seven years after its initial listing.

As reported by Crain’s NY, the oversized townhouse belonging to French billionaire Guy Wildenstein has been sold for $26.1 million, per a deed in the deed the city’s register on Thursday.  The 8,800-square-foot home at 7 Sutton Square had been listed in June 2016 asking $48.5 million.  Though the market at the time was much stronger than today, by December 2016, the price was cut some $10 million, as the art dealer awaited sentencing in France over allegations of $600M tax fraud.

Wildenstein had purchased the five-bedroom home in 2008 for approximately $33 million, so the sale represents more than a 20 percent loss.  In the new deed, with the closing date listed as Aug. 21, the buyer was named as The Zhun Square, a shell company with its address in suburban Westchester County.   That address listed is for a house owned by Yang Gui and Yang Lu, per property tax records. The seller did not comment on the sale, and the buyer was not reachable.  Loy Carlos, the Serhant real estate agent who had marketed the property did not reply to Crain’s request for comment.

The 33-foot-wide property in Sutton Square offers five bedrooms and is actually a combination of two townhouses. The home, first built in 1899, boasts a living room with wainscoting, bay windows and a fireplace.  It has an enormous landscaped roof deck for entertaining with a solarium-topped bar and views of the East River and the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge. The three-story Manhattan home has an impressive spiral staircase, described in the Zillow listing as a “rotunda lined with a spiral filigree staircase and crowned with a glass dome”.  The home also has an elevator, bullet-proof windows, dual professional kitchens, staff facilities, a dining terrace, fitness room, and wine closets.

In 2016, Wildenstein, 77, went on trial in France for tax fraud and money laundering for allegedly under-reporting the mass fortune he inherited at the passing of his father, Daniel, who died in 2001.   The family firm, Wildenstein & Co., was founded in France in 1875 and specialized in works by European masters including Picasso, Monet, Cezanne and many others. French authorities alleged that the family’s wealth was hidden in trusts in territories including the Cayman Islands.  Per Crain’s, the French authorities tried to get Mr. Wildenstein to pay some $602 million in back taxes and fines, and to send him to prison for 10 years. He was acquitted in 2017, after arguing that he didn’t know all the details of his father’s trusts, and adding that French law didn’t require them to be reported anyway.  A higher court later repealed the decision and called for a new trial, which is set to take place this month.

In 2020, Mr. Wildenstein and his wife, Kristina Hannson, also listed their sprawling estate in upstate Millbrook in Dutchess County, for $20 million.  The multi-acre compound was purchased over 20 years ago, and the couple had spent over $50 million on the property, per the Real Deal.

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