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Moscow's iconic Metropol hotel up for grabs

Moscow's iconic Metropol hotel up for grabs
The luxury downtown Metropol Hotel will go under the hammer with a starting price of $297 million. Once at the heart of the tourist mecca it will be sold by city of Moscow at auction on August 30.

The 39,000-square meter, 362-room icon opened its doors in 1901. It managed to retain its antique furniture and unique paintings along with 72 suites, two restaurants and nine banquet halls.

It was renovated in 1991 giving the hotel 5 star status.

The city of Moscow inherited a $5 billion budget deficit once the former mayor Yuri Luzhkov was ousted in October 2010. Now the authorities have embarked on a massive privatization of municipal property.

In 2009 Vladimir Putin signed a decree handing many historical buildings into the ownership of the city's authorities.

The city of Moscow sold the nearby historic National Hotel to B&N Bank co-owner Mikhail Gutseriyev for about $148 million last December.