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US artist buys abandoned French hamlet at auction

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May 21, 2012 12:23 PM EST | AP

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PARIS — An abandoned hamlet in central France will find a new life with a noted photographer from New York state who has bought the place – stables and all.

Courbefy was sold to Ahea at auction on Monday for (EURO)520,000 ($665,000). The artist's plans for the property, some 450 kilometers (280 miles) southwest of Paris, weren't immediately clear.

The artist of South Korean origin, who goes by only one name, has an exhibition scheduled at the Louvre Museum next month. He wasn't present for the auction at the Limoges courthouse.

Paul Gerardin, lawyer for Credit Agricole bank which repossessed the hamlet after its owners went broke, said that Ahea outbid two others – a Belgian and an Irishman hoping to use Courbefy for a reality TV show.

Courbefy went on the bloc for (EURO)330,000. No one bid at an initial auction.