Plans for the Charlie Chaplin heritage site near Vevey are back on track after receiving an interest-free loan of SFr10 million ($10.75 million) from Canton Vaud, and the backers hope it can open in 2014.
Michael Chaplin, the film star’s eldest son, told a media conference on Monday of his excitement at seeing the project, known as Chaplin’s World, moving forward again after suffering a number of setbacks.
It is hoped to start work in the autumn at the Manoir de Ban in Corsier-sur-Vevey where Chaplin spent the last 25 years of his life.
The entire financing of the SFr53.5 ($57.5 million) project depended on the new loan. The project has a bank credit of SFr20 million and SFr25 million from its own funds with partners, including the food giant Nestlé, whose headquarters are at Vevey.
The idea was first launched 12 years ago, but ran into difficulties, including one objection that was taken right up to Switzerland’s supreme court.
It is hoped that the site will attract 300,000 visitors a year. The house is to be renovated, and extra premises built.
It is to be not only a museum but will have a show equipped with the latest technology, and also offer facilities for events and receptions.
Chaplin was born in London on April 16, 1889.
He began his career as an actor on the English stage in 1903.
In 1914 he made his first film appearance.
His best known character was his tramp.
After being accused of being a communist sympathiser he left the United States for good in 1952 and settled in Switzerland.
He died at his Swiss estate on December 25, 1977.
swissinfo.ch and agencies