A young French nobleman, 20 year old Baron Jean-Louis de Portal, his mother and sister are refusing to leave an 18th century chateau in the South of France despite continued attempts to evict them.
A young French nobleman, 20 year old Baron Jean-Louis de Portal, his mother and sister are refusing to leave an 18th century chateau in the South of France despite continued attempts to evict them. The young Baron also refuses to bury his father, Baron Pierre Auguste Leonce de Portal, who died on March 26.
Legal disputes over the ownership of the chateau and its four hundred acres have continued since 1948. Early this year a court ordered the sale of the property against a debt to a local tradesman. The property sold for GBP22,000 (U.S. $44.800) and the official estimate of its value is GBP100,000 (U.S. $240,000). But the old Baron refused to move out and his wife, Baroness Anne, was jailed for alleged violence when police tried to stop her entering the chateau.
The family claims while the Baroness was in jail, the local authorities supplied the old Baron with bedding and rubber underwear impregnated with poisonous chemicals. When the father died, the young Baron Jean-Louis refused to let the body be buried without an autopsy. He has kept the bedclothes and underwear for chemical analysis.
The family is armed with a rifle equipped with telescopic sights, and a World War Two anti-tank rifle. The young Baron slightly wounded a gendarme in February when police and bailiffs tried to storm the chateau. He said they would never get the family out. As well as the family, the chateau houses twenty dogs and a variety of farm animals.