As many as 1,200 bottles from the French presidential cellar will be auctioned here later this month, as part of the government’s austerity drive.

On May 30 and 31, 1200 bottles — a tenth of the presidential cellar — will be offered at a special auction in Paris.

The Elysee Palace’s cellar is selling the wines in order to raise funds for a refurbishment, Drouot auction house said.

The proceeds of the sale will be reinvested in more modest wines and the excess will be returned to the state budget.

The prices are estimated to reach as high as USD 2,900 for a 1990 Petrus to as low as USD 20 for a more modest wine, organisers say.

All the wines on offer, largely Burgundy and Bordeaux, but also including wines from the Loire and Alsace, have been served at the table of the French president at one time or another.

Established in 1947, under the chairmanship of Vincent Auriol, and refurbished in 1995 to allow optimal wine storage, presidential cellar has grown over the decades.

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