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Historic Malmesbury buildings on brink of repossession
Police were called to a dispute involving art collector Frank Faryab today over an order to repossess several of his historic properties in Malmesbury.
Members of the community were stunned to witness a heated debate unfold in Oxford Street as Mr Faryab, who owns numerous properties throughout Wiltshire, argued with officials from Marston judicial services group, based in Epping.
Mr Faryab has been under increased scrutiny in recent years amid concerns that many of his properties, including the Grade II Listed Manor House and the Moravian Church, were being allowed to fall into a dilapidated state.
When the Gazette and Herald called Mr Faryab for a comment he admitted he knew nothing of the repossessions taking place and vowed to fight his corner in what he claims has been an error.
Speaking at the time, he said: “I am not aware. They had not informed me; I will have to rush down there now.”
The avid art collector, who has spent several years and a reported £2million to trying to prove the authenticity of a Turner painting, claims the bailiffs have ignored a High Court order owing him money, and he vows to retrieve his properties as soon as possible.
The Moravian Church and graveyard has been shrouded in controversy after the gates to the gravestones were locked denying access to local mourners.
Last year, the local authority oversaw the installation of a new roof on the Manor House after it was found that a hole was causing significant damage to the interior of the historic building.
Mr Faryab’s neighbour Helen Moody, co-owner of Amanda’s Bistro, said: “If this all goes through, and if this is it, and the buildings are sold, then it will be great.
“We will be delighted if the buildings are sold and the street can come alive again but until I have seen them sold I won’t really believe it.”
Town and Wiltshire Councillor Simon Killane has been calling for something to be done to improve and safeguard the buildings for some time.
“This is great news for Malmesbury,” said Coun Killane.
“These buildings should never have been allowed to get into such a state.
“They are in a prominent position and they shouldn’t be allowed to fall into wreck and ruin.