Woman close to winning Paris fortune

Aug. 28, 2005 at 8:05 PM

PARIS, Aug. 28 (UPI) -- A retired woman in France is close to winning a 46-year legal battle claiming rights to a string of tony Parisian buildings on the Champs-Elysees.

Seventy-two-year-old Lina Renault and her brothers have won the title to the buildings, valued at about $90 million.

One of the buildings houses the famed Le Fouquet's restaurant -- a favorite of Marlene Dietrich, Jean-Paul Sartre, Winston Churchill and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

Renault, who came from a humble background, said she promised to sort out the inheritance at her mother's deathbed, reported the Sunday Telegraph.

The great-uncle Joseph-Paul Mauprivez, was apparently sole heir to the estate of Countess Octavie de Coetlogon, who died in 1865.

The deeds were lost in a 1910 flood, but in 1970, Renault came across a copy of a crucial deed in a Paris archive and has been in court ever since.

A Paris court is expected to make a final ruling on the building next month.

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