Ex-Yugo states agree to sell Park Avenue apartment

AP News
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Posted: Sep 22, 2011 3:20 PM
Ex-Yugo states agree to sell Park Avenue apartment

At least there's one thing the six cash-strapped former Yugoslav states can agree on: Selling a $12-million Park Avenue apartment in New York.

The 14-room, 2,320-square-foot (215-square-meter) duplex _ with six bedrooms, four bathrooms and two half-baths _ has not been used by diplomats since the Balkan county started unraveling in a bloody civil war in the early 1990s.

Serbian Foreign Ministry officials said the former Yugoslav republics _ Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, Slovenia, Macedonia and Montenegro _ have agreed to sell the exclusive property. Serbia, which has been maintaining the flat for 19 years, will get 40 percent of the funds generated.

The officials demanded anonymity because they are not entitled to speak on the issue to media.

Yugoslavia purchased the apartment in 1975 for $100,000 when it was ruled by communist dictator Marshal Josip Broz Tito. It is reportedly in poor state despite its prime New York location.

According to photos published by Serbian media, the paint is peeling off the walls and ceilings of red-colored bedrooms, and the salmon-colored living room still has old furniture scattered around and rag-like curtains.

The ex-Yugoslav republics, some of which have clashed in bloody wars in the 1990s, have had trouble reaching agreements on political or economic issues, but getting money for the luxurious apartment amid the economic crisis is like winning a lottery.

Serbia is getting the biggest share due to its size.