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HomeYachtsYachts NewsMegayacht A cost Italy 18 million euros and it will still cost

Megayacht A cost Italy 18 million euros and it will still cost

Megayacht A, has already cost Italy 18 million euros, will still cost a lot of money, and the state cannot dispose of it.

Megayacht A, which is in fact the world’s largest sailboat (although some people refuse to call it a “sailboat”) had been seized from Russian tycoon Andrei Melnichenko on the night of March 11-12, 2022 while in Trieste, two years ago.

megayacht A
The megayacht A we “paparazzied” a few years ago

The seizure had been put in place by the Finance Guard in execution of sanctions decided by the European Union against Russian oligarchs after the outbreak of war between Russia and Ukraine. But the operation was a bloodbath for the coffers of the Italian state, which had to, by law, shoulder the maintenance costs and, as we will explain, cannot get rid of the boat (for now).

The ugliest boat in the world?

When it was launched in 2015, the mega yacht A had sparked a plethora of outrage from sailing purists and sea lovers. Three masts, 143 meters long, 25 meters wide, 12,600 tons in tonnage, and a height equal to an 8-story building. All metallic, boundless, armored. Some had gone so far as to call it a “monster,” as in a disfigurement not only to classic yacht aesthetic standards, but also to current ecological and energy emergencies, not only of sea-going people.

Today that mega-sailing yacht designed by archistar Philippe Starck is at the center of controversy less related to personal taste and touching us “in the pockets.”

How much does the megayacht A cost Italy?

It has been exactly two years now that A has been moored in the Gulf of Trieste. The daily cost of maintaining the mega yacht is estimated to be between 20,000 and 30,000: multiply that by two years, that’s about 18 million. And the cost is bound to rise, with the end of Russian-Ukrainian tensions to date far away.

In fact, the Italian state must pay for the 20-man crew that looks after the boat, which under custody cannot deteriorate. You also have to do the cleaning and maintenance to all the systems that allow the mega yacht to operate and power its super generator that stays on day and night.

Will the state ever recover this money?

But this money who will give it back to Italy. Certainly not Melnichenko, one of the richest men in the world with an estimated wealth of 27.5 billion, mainly related to coal and fertilizer.

mega yacht A
Andrei Melnichenko

Italian institutions long ago received a notice saying the yacht does not belong to Melnichenko, but to a trust managed by an independent trustee with whom the oligarch denies having any relationship. The dispute resulted in a legal battle between the state and the ownership of the mega yacht, represented by major law firms.

Now the ball has passed into the hands of the European Court of Justice, which must rule on a preliminary ruling that was requested by the Lazio Regional Administrative Court. It all revolves around the interpretation of the 2014 EU Regulation 269 on sanctions and the actual allocation of ownership of the yacht. The companies flowing into the trust challenged the asset freeze, claiming ownership. Will the Italian state be able to recover the costs incurred in maintaining the boat?

Italian law stipulates that in the event that the seizure does not become final and the owning company wants to get the yacht back, it would first have to pay all the maintenance fees and until it does so, based on the right of retention that any shipyard has with respect to the assets it guards, it cannot get the yacht back. We shall – for quite a while yet – see.

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