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Asbestos removal to cost €110 million


PARIS— The co-owners of the Tour Montparnasse in Paris have voted to pay €110 million ($144.01 million) for complete removal of asbestos in the 58-story skyscraper located in the southwest of the city, according to the company that operates the building complex.

Asbestos was discovered in the tower, which is the tallest skyscraper in France and receives about 600,000 tourists a year, in 2005.

"Asbestos removal and modernization of the building will cost about €110 ($144.01 million), paid by the tower's co-owners, which are for the most part institutional investors," said the tower's management company, l'Ensemble Immobilier Tour Maine-Montparnasse, in a statement. The company said the decision came after a year of technical assessment.

The money in particular will go to required work to remove asbestos in the complex's level 3, as well as work on levels 1 and 2, which is voluntary," said the company.

Work, already underway, will continue until 2009 and for the most part involves removing asbestos in certain of the tower's false-ceilings. "Removal is done floor-by-floor, with no occupants present. The panoramic restaurant on the 56th floor will not be affected," it said.