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Auction date set for abandoned French village

In this photo taken Tuesday Feb. 28, 2012, the swimming pool in the French village of Saint Nicolas Courbefy, in Limousin, a region in central France is seen. The entire hamlet is for sale and carried an asking price of just euro 300,000 ($440,000), the cost of a studio apartment in Paris. In this photo taken Tuesday Feb. 28, 2012, the swimming pool in the French village of Saint Nicolas Courbefy, in Limousin, a region in central France is seen. The entire hamlet is for sale and carried an asking price of just euro 300,000 ($440,000), the cost of a studio apartment in Paris. (AP Photo/Sarah DiLorenzo)
March 2, 2012
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PARIS—An auction to sell an abandoned French village has been set for May 21.

The hamlet of Courbefy, about 280 miles (450 kilometers) southwest of Paris, fell into the hands of bank Credit Agricole earlier this month after its owners stopped paying their mortgage. The village of rustic buildings, a horse stable, tennis court and swimming pool was previously a luxury hotel and restaurant.

Paul Gerardin, a lawyer for the bank, said Friday that since one buyer -- a U.S.-based company -- officially expressed interest, an auction will be held. His office has received more than 100 calls, including from places as far flung as China and Qatar.

Interested buyers can still participate, but must hand over a security deposit for the asking price of euro330,000 ($440,000).

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