Inspiration: Pierre Bergé’s Villa in Tanger

Today’s post is about the recently renovated Villa Léon l’Africain purchased in 2007 by co-founder and life partner of the fashion house Yves Saint Laurent.

Generally recognized as the most beautiful example of French-colonial-style in Morocco, the villa Leo Africanus owes its name to Hassan al-Wazzan, who fled Spain during the Christian Roconquista under the auspices of Pope Leo X, where he became a diplomat and scholar. Captured by pirates in 1518 and sold into slavery, al-Wazzan was offered as a gift to Pope Leo X, who baptized him Léon l’Africain.

Located in the heart of Tangier, the villa was built by a French lawyer in 1912 in the Riviera Style, who named it Villa Léon l’Africain. The aesthete and art historian Richard Timwelle came to settle in 1967 after retiring from Sotheby. He brought with him the possessions of a lifetime. In 1984 antiques dealer Christopher Gibbs acquired it.

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