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Finnish Ambassador to China Forced to Move Out

Finland's Embassy in Beijing is embroiled in a lawsuit over a botched renovation of its residential building. The Ambassador has had to seek alternate accommodation as the project starts again from scratch.

Suomen suurlähettilään virka-asunto Pekingissä.
Suomen suurlähettilään virka-asunto Pekingissä. Image: YLE

The envoy, Antti Kuosmanen, moved back into the 1,400 square metre building last summer after it was rebuilt. However he and his wife soon had to move out again, as the work turned out to be shoddily done.

With costs running into the millions, work to repair the residence has begun again. However it remains unclear who will foot the bill.

The local firm that did the original work has sued the State of Finland, which has filed a counter-suit. The dispute is now being handled through an arbitration procedure.

Kuosmanen says a long list of problems quickly became apparent last autumn, from a curling parquet floor to loose bathroom tiles, as well as ventilation and plumbing faults. As a result of the substandard work, some of the Embassy's valuable collection of antiques was damaged by mould.

Kuosmanen estimates that the total costs will exceed two million euros. The new renovation job will last until at least July.

Finland also has Consulates in Shanghai and Guangzhou as well as Hong Kong.

Sources: YLE

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