A Kurdish business tycoon is building a $US20 million replica of the White House in a swanky neighbourhood in Erbil, Iraq. The knockoff is situated not 50 miles away from ISIS-held Mosul.
Shihab Shihab, a Kurdish business tycoon, commissioned the mansion to be built with Greek marble instead of sandstone, and while it is smaller than the original White House at 32,300 square feet, the home comes complete with a 9-foot crystal chandelier, 21-karat gold ceilings, and a Turkish bath.
Shihab dreams of Obama coming to visit the house in Kurdistan one day. “If Obama comes, I will invite him to come here,” Shihab told NPR. “We will invite him to have Erbil kebab and fish.”
Here’s a peek inside the construction:
The mansion is being built in Erbil’s Dream City, a luxury neighbourhood in northern Iraq lined with million-dollar villas.
The mansion is slightly smaller than the actual White House, measuring 32,300 square feet instead of 55,000 square feet. The home’s columns have been finished with 21-karat gold leaf.
The banister of the home’s grand staircase, as well as the ceiling, have also been trimmed with 21-karat gold.
A large swimming pool is just one of many features Shihab has made on his replica of the White House.
A Turkish bath, decorated with intricate Turkish tiles, is another.
Shihab hopes people will talk about his copy as much as they talk about the real White House. He plans to make this colourful room the gym.
The home will have two master bedrooms, but Shihab doesn’t remember how many rooms the mansion has total — he told NPR it’s so big, he can’t keep track.
When a buyer offered to pay $US17 million for the mansion back in October, Shihab reportedly refused, according to the NY Daily News.
“I wanted a house people would talk about,” Shihab told NPR. “I wanted to create a new landmark that rivals the Citadel. And I think if you have money you should live in luxury.”
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