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Versace mansion closes, readies for art exhibit?
Versace purchased the property in 1992 and spent an estimated $33 million on lavish upgrades, including a 54-foot mosaic pool lined with 24-karat gold. AFP PHOTO/ROBERT SULLIVAN/FILES.
MIAMI, FL.- The palatial US villa where fashion designer Gianni Versace was murdered closed its doors Friday following its multi-million-dollar sale last month, realtors said.

Casa Casuarina, where Versace was living when he was shot dead on the steps of the property in 1997, was sold for $41.5 million on September 17 by VM South Beach, a company that owns the neighboring Hotel Victor.

A statement released by Coldwell Banker realtors Jill Hertzberg and Jill Eber said long-term plans for the opulent residence in one of Miami's most prestigious neighborhoods remained undetermined.

However, the new owners were mulling converting the mansion into a temporary gallery to showcase the work of new young artists at Miami's Art Basel in December.

Hertzberg described Friday's closure as "the end of an era."

"We have said all along that this property was the Mona Lisa of real estate, and look forward to seeing what the new owners do with this elegant property," Eber added in a statement.

Versace purchased the property in 1992 and spent an estimated $33 million on lavish upgrades, including a 54-foot mosaic pool lined with 24-karat gold.

The 19,000-square-foot home was originally built in 1930 by philanthropist Alden Freeman.

The Versace family offloaded the property in 2000, three years after the killing of the fashion house's figurehead, selling it in 2000 to Peter Loftin for $19 million.

Loftin put it up for sale last year for $125 million. No buyers emerged, and he eventually lowered the price tag to $75 million before finally deciding to auction it off.



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