Beckhams buy Gianni Versace's £36m mansion


Versace Mansion

David and Victoria Beckham are said to have splashed out an incredible £36 million on a mansion in Miami formerly owned by Gianni Versace. The couple were looking for a pad after announcing that David was the new owner of a football team in the area.

That £36 million has bought them a striking property with an unusual history.

The history

The property gained media attention during the tragic events of 1997, when the designer was murdered on his doorstep. The family sold it to a telecoms magnate in 2000, who turned it first into a private members club and then a hotel.

He hit financial trouble, and put the property up for sale. However, after initially asking for $125 million, he lowered the price to $75 million, and eventually last year it went up for auction as part of bankruptcy proceedings and sold to a hotel group for $41.5 million (£25 million). As a close friend of the designer's sister, Donatella, Victoria Beckham was rumoured to have been considering a bid herself at that point.

Now there are reports that the Beckhams have taken the plunge and bought the property from the hotel group - for a rumoured £36 million.

The property

It's an incredible property. Versace bought Casa Casuarina in 1992 and then bought the house next door, and created a single home from the two. According to The Mirror the property stretches over 23,000 square feet.

The palace was built in 1930 and owned by the descendants of Christopher Columbus, which would explain the Spanish-influenced architecture.

However, the overwhelming influence is from Versace himself, whose style has taken in the whole Mediterranean. When he combined the two properties around a stunning courtyard, he also introduced unmistakable flourishes, from the Versace Mosaic by the ornate outdoor pool to the 24-carat gold touches in the tiling of the pool itself. The theme is continued with hand-painted frescos, Italian marble and a striking gold and marble toilet.

The family will clearly have to do some work to turn the building from a 10-bedroom, 11-bathroom hotel to a family home, but given that The Sunday Times estimates David's fortune alone at £160 million, there's a good chance they can spare the money.