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Victor Pinchuk, Ukrainian Steel And Media Tycoon, Plans Birthday At French Ski Resort Courchevel For $6 Million

First Posted: 12/18/10 11:53 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 07:20 PM ET

Victor Pinchuk

A Michelin-starred dinner buffet by acclaimed chef Alain Ducasse. Top-notch live entertainment, courtesy of Christina Aguilera and Cirque du Soleil. A star-studded list of 300 guests, including Paul McCartney, Steven Spielberg and Bill Clinton.

These are but a few of the glamorous rumors that have been swirling in advance of Ukrainian billionaire Victor Pinchuk's 50th birthday party celebration, which is scheduled to take place at the French ski resort of Courchevel, the Guardian is reporting.

Though exact details of the Alpine extravaganza, set for this weekend, are not yet fully known, international media speculation has been rampant. A steel tycoon who also fronts a media empire including five television stations and three newspapers in his native Ukraine, Pinchuk has been criticized by some who feel his over-the-top birthday bash -- estimated to cost over $6 million and also set to include a fireworks display -- may be in bad taste.

"It's particularly scandalous because so many people in France are having trouble making ends meet, let alone buy Christmas presents, because of the crisis," one skier told the Guardian. Officials, however, felt differently, noting that Pinchuk was bringing additional business to the town. "If he didn't come to Courchevel, he'd no doubt go abroad, to a Swiss or Austrian station," mayor Gilbert Blanc-Tailleur told the Telegraph. "And it would be a shame for our country. So it's a good operation for France and for our resort, whose quality welcome is recognized."

Forbes estimates that Pinchuk's fortune currently stands at about $3.1 billion.

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Filed by Curtis M. Wong  |