New York - The French Foreign Legion's ambassador the the United Nations is being asked to move to a downtown motel as his bosses in Vichy, France downsize their Manhattan portfolio.
It's hoped the move will stave off foreclosure by the state-pawned - uh, owned! - Grande Fromage Banque in a decision that's left Manhattan realtors drooling with anticipation.
This morning a private guided tour by NewsCorpse stringers revealed the stunning 18 room duplex at 740 Park Avenue listed at $48 million.
On offer are two fabulous reception rooms, one bathroom, four bedrooms, two dozen 'French Maids' rooms, a mysterious fully equipped 'games room', two wraparound terraces AND countless exquisite fireplaces, the pride of US estate agents' publicity blurbs.
Also listed is the French Foreign Legion's Carnegie Hill townhouse where $32 million buys you a handsome 30ft-wide 1923 Neo-Federal mansion spanning over 16,000ft, kitted out with no-expense-spared state-of-the-art 1920s aircon and original Crash of '29-installed broadband.
Commenting on the 'fire sale' of state-owned assets a former general in the Legion's cadet corpse hinted that the combined $80 million price for the two properties represents a fabulous opportunity:
"Merde alors, va te faire foutre!"** the old warhorse blurted.
President Francois Hollande is 69.
** Translation: 'The downtown motel arrangement is both welcome and timely'