H-SANTA BARBARA

Nov 16, 2012 2:31 PM by Kelly Orsini, KSBY News

Santa Barbara leaders want Huguette Clark's mansion preserved as art institution

Santa Barbara city leaders are asking their community to show support for the preservation of the oceanfront home that belonged to reclusive Montana copper mining heiress Huguette Clark.

Clark's entire estate is valued at $307 million. The largest asset is Bellosguardo, her vacation home above East Beach in Santa Barbara. The 23-acre property is valued at $85 million.

Clark's will called for the creation of a foundation as an educational institution. If the foundation includes the house, the property could be opened up for public viewings.

However, Clark's relatives are challenging her will in court. If they are successful, the home could be sold and the money could be divided among them.

Few people have been allowed inside the house, and Clark and her immediate family stopped visiting about 60 years ago. Still, the home has been carefully maintained over the years.

City leaders have created a website called Friends of Bellosguardo where they ask residents to lend their names in support of Clark's last wishes.

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