The public Macau Foundation (FM) has bought a palace in Lisbon for 70 million patacas (US$ 8.75 million) from local businessman Liu Chak Wan, who is a member of its council of trustees, the Portuguese-language channel of government-owned broadcaster TDM reported Tuesday.
According to the report citing informed sources, the deal took place early last year but was never made public.
The report said that it was Liu, a member of the government’s top advisory Executive Council, who proposed the deal.
The report said that Liu had originally planned to convert the 2,634-square-metre villa into a boutique hotel. The property – known as Palacio Sommer – was built in the early 20th century.
Liu is understood to have suggested the deal to the foundation after dropping his original plan.
The mansion is named after a wealthy Portuguese family of German descent.
According to the report, the price tag is similar to the one quoted by the property agency Engel & Völkers for the mansion in 2013.
Some scenes of the Portuguese-German-Danish movie The House of the Spirits directed by Bille August and featuring Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons were shot in the mansion in the early 1990s.
The report said that the edifice needs to undergo repairs.
According to the report, the local government is considering to move Macau’s representative office in Lisbon to the 18-room palace since its current premises are deemed too small for its many activities.
The Macau Foundation is funded by 1.6 percent of the gross takings of the local gaming industry.
Macau Foundation President Wu Zhiliang told reporters earlier this year that its reserves amount to 29.2 billion patacas.
In a statement release today the Macau Foundation confirm the acquisition and said that after works the building will become the Macau’s representative office in Lisbon.