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Last Updated: Friday, 20 October 2006, 15:08 GMT 16:08 UK
Paris sells Chirac's vintage wine
Potential bidders leaf through the wine list in Paris
The money from the sale will go into the Paris municipal budget
Paris city hall has sold two bottles of vintage wine for 5,000 euros (3,358) each at an auction of 4,960 bottles from its hospitality cellar.

The wine, dating from the time when Jacques Chirac was mayor, has attracted bidders from around the world.

Apart from the 5,000-euro Romanee Conti 1986, the star attractions are bottles of Chateau Petrus Bordeaux priced at 1,200 euros each.

The Socialist mayor plans to plough the funds raised into the Paris budget.

The auction will continue on Saturday.

The French news website LCI says the bottles on sale amount to three-quarters of the city hall's collection.

Mr Chirac's staff assembled the spectacular cellar during his 18-year stint as mayor from 1977 to 1995, a time overshadowed by corruption scandals.

Lavish parties

Mr Chirac has always been a bon viveur, famous for his huge appetite for the finer things of life, the BBC's Emma Jane Kirby reports from Paris.

As mayor of Paris, he was a frequent host of lavish parties and he and his wife Bernadette spent roughly $600 (300) per day on their personal food and drink alone.

The present Socialist mayor, Bertrand Delanoe, ordered the auction after discovering bottles which had increased so much in value they were deemed too extravagant to be served by the Paris city hall.

Our correspondent says Mr Chirac may not be too sad to see his cellar dispersed, as he actually prefers a cool glass of Mexican beer.

The contents of Jacques Chirac's vintage cellar

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