An Israeli diamond billionaire has bought the UK’s most expensive house for $80 million incuding a $100,000 bullet proof front door that has raised its value further.
Bought by Lev Leviev, the seven-bedroom house in the exclusive north London district of Hampstead boasts a $US1.5m stone staircase constructed using 150-year-old carving techniques and an indoor swimming pool with gold-plated mosaic tiles. The Palladian-style home also features a gym, sauna, ballroom and cinema, a private hair salon and a one-ton bathroom basin carved from a single piece of white Iranian onyx.
Once installed in his new home, Mr Leviev will be protected not only by the bullet-proof front door but by 25 security cameras and a high-tech alarm system that can be controlled remotely from a yacht in the Caribbean if necessary. In his front garden is a topiary bush that cost $46,000 to shape, and should he get cold there is a $230,000 hand-carved stone fireplace in the living room.
Estimated to be worth $7.5 billion Mr Leviev, a reclusive billionaire immigrated to Israel from Uzbekistan in 1971 without a penny to his name. Also having homes in Israel, New York and Moscow, he is believed to favor a move to London because of high taxes in Israel.