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The false Prince of Monte Brè

"Because," says Marco Ricca, while he trudges up the steep village road. "The house of the Principe." He has to laugh a little. But rather on the grumpy kind, stating that there is to laugh about nothing at all.

Ricca, the head of the resistance, stands in front of the house of the man they call in Monte Brè, the "Prince". These villagers had themselves staged as a bringer of salvation, but above all one thing: restlessness. A high electrically charged fence surrounds the Area. "As he built, we found the kind of weird," says Ricca.

"at the beginning We had no reason to make this man who described himself as a biophysicist, questioned," says Marco Ricca, who lives with his wife and three children at the bottom of the mountain in an old granite house. The programmer from Geneva, fled five years ago, in the Ticino is not the mountains, because he endured the "Hyper-consumption and this whole Close". Therefore, Ricca calls for resistance against "a crazy pharaohs project". And the Locals follow him.

For activist Marco Ricca is the thing clear. The Swiss mountains should not be a Playground for the Rich.

it looked at the beginning to a bright future for Monte Brè, in August 2017, a man in the village noted on the small stage under two powerful Book and to Sayn as "Peter-Wittgenstein" introduced. He wanted to tell the story of an idea, the clinics in the village, he should infuse for ten years, lived and loved, new life: A Health Center in the Tradition of the Swiss high Altitude, gentle in the vicinity of the village built.

The appearance of the charming German made an impression. A beautiful summer evening, was all that were there: Polenta, Vino, and the local sausage Luganighetta remember, and a spirit of optimism. All agreed that After the closure of the sole Hotels – the Baker has already given up years ago – was able to send the forgotten village in the difficult-to-read steep slope fresh forces use. And Sayn that Peter-Wittgenstein, who distributed his with a coat of arms decorated business card, seemed to be the Right.

"everything Will be flattened"

A year after the appearance of the village, came to light the project in its whole Dimension. Half of the mountain, it seemed, should be the resort to the luxury. Schwyzer real estate company Augur Invest AG had bought with zu Sayn-Wittgenstein as a local consultant is already over 27'000 square meters of Land. This was not what had been told of the eloquent parlier at the end of Lord of the stage.

"There, there and there," Marco Ricca on the houses that are now in the hands of the investors. He says: "everything Is wiped out, because a few millions illiterate in Monte Brè want to be your Playground." Of 150 apartment homes with 24-hour Concierge Service. Further to the above, there is also a 5-star is to be built Hotel with a gourmet restaurant and a huge Spa to the edge of the wild Kastanienwalds.

The Message: Monte Brè is tapped for the Rich.

In a prospectus is touted rich "The Lago Maggiore Grand" as a phenomenal Investment for super. A picture montage advertises a Golf green in the heights, next to a helicopter. Thus, the five-kilometre-long, one-lane road with its many hairpin curves, you could easily fly over.

located on The Message: Monte Brè high above Locarno, is tapped for the Rich. The Lugano airport, with land opportunities for private jets is approaching so near. "We were shocked. And we felt betrayed," says Ricca and looks through the electric fence in the Prince's garden. The weed is rampant. The Rustico is empty. 19 other houses in Monte Brè did the same. To Sayn, Peter-Wittgenstein was the First, but not the Only one who came with the sale money.

Meanwhile, deployed the Ticino with the Initiative of Salva Monte Brè solid. Throughout the Locarnese white-green Banner on the houses: "Save Monte Brè". Ex-national councillor Franco Cavalli. Swiss Federal councillor Flavio Cotti, the village has 100 inhabitants, a Rustico, also.

The resistance in the Monte Brè is not staged as a battle of good people against malicious invaders, even if there is a planning application. In the village, whether Locarno, but it is also about fundamental issues, which are also provided in Vals, in St. Moritz anyway: How much development we want in our mountains? And what should it be?

For activist Marco Ricca is the thing clear. The Swiss mountains should not be a Playground for the Rich. Alain Scherrer, the mayor of Locarno, welcomes investment, however, certainly, but only if they fit to the environment.

Just one of the many land sellers

In the case of Monte Brè it is now not only to destruction or development of rural areas. Rather, it is the question, whether on the part of the investors ever played with open cards. And Sayn what is the role of Peter Wittgenstein really plays.

says that he was only the country of seller, i.e. one of many. According to a written statement of the Augur Invest've been Sayn-Wittgenstein advises no function in the company, but the company in local issues.


"It is not so that all are in the village against the hotel project."To Sayn Peter Wittgenstein

The native German-mediated of Monte Brè from the sale of houses, plots. Even if behind Augur Invest the serious of Zurich, building contractor, Oliver Wolfensberger, is for the Ticino, the man with the noble name of the face to the project. In their eyes, the people, the nobles – a media-effective class struggle wants to take a German nobleman Monte Brè:.

Today, however, is the activists is clear that you have given to Sayn-Wittgenstein, nicknamed "the Principe" to be wrong. His aristocratic-sounding surname, he's added later. How, remains in the dark. Because he makes unclear statements. In Germany at least such a name to buy for a six-figure sum. What is certain is that His birth name is Peter Druf. When he married 13 years ago at Schloss Sihlberg in Zurich, an Ex-Miss Zürich, he called himself Peter Ferreira.

Under this name he has written an esoteric Bestseller: "water & salt". It is a companion work to a brief but intense Boom in the early 2000s. At the time, Himalayan salt suddenly became regarded as a panacea. Scientific evidence there was none. Nevertheless, people cracks, especially in Germany formally to the exotic salt.

And a stand in the middle of it: Peter Ferreira – according to its own information, a biophysicist with a research Institute in the United States. Both cannot be properly verified. Especially as a biophysicist is not a legally protected title.

Such stories make the people in Monte Brè suspicious. "And nobody knows exactly where the Principe is today," says Marco Ricca. "He's in hiding." At least in this point, the activist is wrong.

Just ideas, not concrete plans

in The evening we reach the man so much is told, on the phone. He was just in Monte Brè with a good friend, says Peter zu Sayn-Wittgenstein. It is the former Chairperson of the Association of Pro Monte Brè. This Association, he makes clear, support the project ideas to the full.

"is It not so that all are in the village against the hotel project. On the contrary," said zu Sayn-Wittgenstein. Most of the see that we keep Monte Brè from extinction." And what is with his appearance at the village festival? As a response, the German heartily laughs in the handset. "At the time, but only ideas. And what came later, were just ideas that were part of a comprehensive analysis."

The 5-star Hotel, 150 apartments, referred to as maximum variation. Specifically, this was never. "Currently, the Augur is planning to Invest anyway, just with a much smaller 4-star Hotel and Apartments with a maximum of 84 rooms." And the helipad? Now he laughs loudly: "no, the comes. I promise!"

a few days ago a Letter from the Augur is on the Desk of the mayor of Locarno Invest. The company's wool to open, according to the mayor, a dialogue with the Public. Also a presentation of the current project. Whether it comes to a stage comeback of the Prince, is unlikely. In Monte Brè, its radiance faded.

(editing Tamedia)

Created: 09.04.2019, 21:42 PM

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