A sprawling mansion on the French Riviera recently acquired the title of world’s priciest home after an unnamed buyer shelled out $750 million for the property. Villa Leopolda, a Belle Apoque mansion nestled on the hills of Villefrance between Nice and Monaco, once belonged to King Leopold II of Belgium. The property’s most recent owner Lily Safra, widow of Edmond Safra, a Lebanese banker who died in an arsonist’s fire in 2003, reportedly waited months as the buyer’s bids continued to increase. The purchase is part of a growing trend of wealthy Russian oligarchs occupying lavish properties on the Cote d’Azur. Villa Leopolda’s price tag shattered the previous record for world’s most expensive home, a property in Kensington Palace Gardens sold for $110 million in 2004 to steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal.
Update: The buyer has been identified as Russian precious metals mogul Mikhail Prokhorov.