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Naval officer, writer, adventurer and French Academician, Pierre Loti was born Julien Viaud in Rochefort in 1850, and came to fame with ‘Aziyadé’, a semi-autobiographical novel about a love affair with a woman in Istanbul. For his support of the Turks in their War of Independence, Pierre Loti has a hill overlooking the Golden Horn named after him. Its café, with a panoramic view, is a popular meeting place. The home of Pierre Loti in Rocheford is an orientalist fantasy and a treasure house of souvenirs. However, the six tons of tile and marble decorations that he imported from Turkey and Syria have imperilled the stability of the building and in December 2012 the house closed for a €10million government-backed refurbishment. During its closure photos, costumes he liked to dress up in, and other material from the house is being shown at the Hôtel Hèbre de Saint-Clément.
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