By Robert Carry
Actor Russell Crowe was outbid earlier this week by the eldest son of News Corp owner Rupert Murdoch during an auction for a sprawling Sydney mansion formerly owned by the French government.
38-year-old Lachlan paid $23m for the property which had served as France's consulate in Sydney's eastern suburbs. The winning bid set an Australian auction record for a single house.
According to reports from Bloomberg, the six-bedroom estate on Victoria Road in Bellevue Hill, known as 'Le Manoir,' features ocean and harbour views, sits on 4,097sqm of land and features a tennis court, swimming pool and a three-car garage.
"There weren't any signs of a global financial crisis at the auction with 10 registered bidders going hammer and tong at it," said Michael Pallier, the principal at Raine & Horne Double Bay, which ran the sale. "It was one of a handful of Sydney's eastern suburbs trophy homes and they rarely become available."
Lachlan attended the auction in person while Crowe was believed to have monitored the sale via the internet.
The French government paid 26,000 Australian pounds for the property in 1956. The property has had just two owners since being built in 1926.
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