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Miami's former Versace mansion faces uncertain future


Miami, Jul 7 (EFE).- Casa Casuarina, the South Beach mansion where Italian designer Gianni Versace was murdered in 1997, faces an uncertain future after its current owner filed for bankrutpcy protection.

Peter Loftin, who owns the mansion on whose front steps Versace was gunned down, purchased the property in 2000 for $19 million and converted it into a luxury hotel.

Casa Casuarina, located on South Beach's popular Ocean Drive, is a popular stop for tourists visiting Miami Beach.

The quirky mansion is on the market for $75 million, but no buyers have stepped forward and the Nakash family, of Jordache jeans fame, purchased a loan on the property from a German bank and is trying to foreclose.

The Nakash family has an interest in the Victor Hotel next door to Casa Casuarina, which was constructed in 1930 by Alden Freeman, an heir to the Standard Oil fortune.

The mansion, which has 10 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms, is known for the statue of Aphrodite in its garden.

Versace bought Casa Casuarina in 1992 and turned it into a palace in the style of the Roman Empire.

The Italian designer was gunned down on July 15, 1997, by Andrew Cunanan, a male prostitute suspected of murdering four other men.

Cunanan committed suicide in a Miami Beach houseboat eight days after killing the 50-year-old Versace.