The old world, the fledgling nation, the castle and the Mayor #2

On December 15, the Magcentre resumed the revelations in Le Canard Enchainé about the resignation of Marie Lajus, mayor of Indre et Loire, dismissed without prior notice by the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin. Since then, from letters to petitions of support, the case has gained national dimension, as this decision without official explanation seems shocking with respect to republican laws in the region. We return here to this case with a well-documented investigation in the form of a Christmas soap opera within the region’s power machine.

Read the previous chapter

Château Louise de la Vallière Wikipedia

Chapter 2

the beautiful world

Let’s go back to our opening night on the 22nd of October, with Countess Laurence Bizard-Hamilton among the guests, a former Parisian science po who worked for Lagardère before buying the Château de Champchévrier in Touraine and becoming its director. . Her husband, Count Gustaf Hamilton, dealer in contemporary Swedish art and design, is also there, not far from Baron Dominique de la Tournelle, graduated in Sciences Po and with passages through Oxbow, Christian Dior, Waterman, Newman, Yves Rocher and Thierry. Mugler, while managing a union of textile bosses. A room at the Château Louise de la Vallière hotel even bears the name of one of her ancestors. Emotion.

Oh, and let’s not forget the politicians. In the evening Vincent Morette, prefect of the PS of Montlouis and president of the community of communes to which Reugny and its castle belong, and the deputy of the district of Amboise, Daniel Labaronne, were present. The latter, a very influential LREM executive and easily re-elected in 2022, had a rather complicated political career when he was labeled as more to the left. Tell who tells us that he ” came to celebrate the importance of this emerging project for the enhancement of the cultural heritage of the region “. And indeed, the deputy wets his shirt for the project, he even appears in period costume reciting a text in the promotional video of the Château de la Vallière.

Deputy Labaronne in costume, reciting text in a promotional video for Château de la Vallière.

Everyone was there to celebrate the Château, and “mfollow in the footsteps of Louise de la Vallière, stroll through the alleys of the Château and let yourself be transported back to the time of the kings of France and their favourites. “. To improve, ” live an experience that is both sensory and temporal, a true immersion in the century of Louis XIV and in fact in the history of France, both cultural and heritage “. Because it’s true that this exceptional house is enthroned in the middle of a sixteen-hectare millennial forest that is home to a reserve of protected animal species. […] At the gourmet restaurant L’Amphitryon […] the chef develops the menu with the help of a gastronomic historian. During a romantic stay, guests can also enjoy an unforgettable tasting at Le Saint-Évremond champagne bar or relax in the outdoor pool, heated all year round. “. And we won’t miss the ” Spa “La Rosée” which borrows the evocative nickname of Louise de La Vallière, incarnation of beauty in the 17th century, for her grace and purity of her complexion. Relax in the treatment room, in the jacuzzi, under the sensorial shower”. And of course, there are the rooms, charged between 500 and 900 euros per night: “ the elegance of the 18th century revealed in this grand boudoir in the name of Madame du Barry, the favorite who loved Louis XV for his qualities as a man and not for his crown”.

An extra to experience the grand emotion of the Ancien Régime, the Château’s staff are regularly dressed in period costume. In all simplicity.

When old world meets start-up nation

More than a celebration of good taste and heritage, this evening of October 25, 2022 celebrates above all the Swiss owner couple: Miroslava Grebenstein – simply nicknamed Mira -, director of a luxury fashion wholesale box, and Xavier Aubry , holder of a prestigious MBA from Harvard Business School after studying veterinarians, now converted into start-ups.

After his studies, Mr. Aubry quickly turned to consulting specializing in innovation, project management and engineering. He is a member of the Board of Directors of a lobbying association in Brussels that brings together consultants from the sector and founded Zaz Ventures in Switzerland, a renowned company in supporting, coordinating and supporting the preparation of applications for subsidies for laboratories or public-private consortia that develop research projects in robotics, artificial intelligence, big data, nanotechnologies, gene therapies and quantum technologies. The two spouses are on the board of directors of Zaz Ventures, but it is Xavier Aubry who runs the company, which is visibly in good health: more than 900 million euros in subsidies and public investments raised since 2014 for supported projects, with 10% of the envelope that goes towards the office’s remuneration, that is, probably a turnover of more than 10 million euros per year.

In fact, the couple’s attachment to Touraine is not limited to life in the castle and, recently, another entrepreneurial dimension has emerged. The hyperactive spirit of the first climbers, what do you want.

In 2021, Zaz Ventures is setting up a kind of French subsidiary called Da Vinci Labs, managed by Xavier Aubry. In the first year, the box has no activity, but in 2022 it changes its address and occupies the premises of a beautiful building that the couple also seems to own or at least rent in Nazelles-Négron, a town close to Reugny. Da Vinci Labs is dedicated, according to the statutes I was able to obtain, to make ” research and business support in high technology sectors; advice on training, recruitment, marketing, communication and innovation financing; communication and management of scientific projects; rental of offices and research equipment; investments in high-tech start-ups; organizing events and escape games; video and artistic production; artistic, scientific and cultural sponsorship “.

Since last September, the box has also joined the Mame innovation city, an incubator managed by Tours Métropole and chaired by Mr. Thibault Coulon, vice president of the metropolis, passionate about digital… and conservative Catholicism. This year, Da Vinci Labs supported a consortium specialized in gene therapy technology – PAT4CGT – which obtained European and Swiss grants of almost 4 million euros, bringing 300 thousand euros to the coffers of the small company managed by Aubry. In addition, Da Vinci Labs intends to gain strength, the box is very present on social networks, namely thanks to the hiring of a communication specialist, it edits a biannual online magazine and organizes contests around ” quantum art “.

To be continued…

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