Bucharest, Romania: Drunk tourist looking for his hotel breaks into palace

A DRUNK tourist broke into Romania's presidential palace after scaling a 6ft wall because he thought the "People's House" was a hotel, police said.

The man, who was identified only as an Irish national, staggered into the courtyard of the imposing building without being stopped at about 4am after drinking in Bucharest's old town.

After climbing the wall, the tourist broke a window and entered the palace, which was built on the orders of dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu.

The alarm was raised by the Romanian defence and protection service, according to the Digi24 website, and the inebriated man was eventually tracked down and arrested.

He had spent the time wandering around the cavernous building trying to open locked doors, convinced he was in a hotel rather than the world's third-largest government building.

Under questioning by officers, the man said he had been out drinking in the Romanian capital. He said he could not remember how he had broken into the building.

The man, whose arrival at the police station was televised in Romania, was charged with damaging a public building and trespassing.

After hours of court hearings, prosecutors decided the man was not a danger to the public. He was freed after being held for 24 hours rather than the 30 days of jail he was facing.

The Irish tourist's break-in will be included in a review of security arrangements at the palace, which was ordered after anti-Covid restrictions protesters forced their way into the building.

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The palace, which was built between 1984 and 1997, has more than 1,000 rooms and took 700 architects 13 years to build. Today, 70 per cent of the building is empty but heating, electricity and lighting bills are more than £4.45 ($A8.28) million.

At £3.35 billion, it is the most expensive administrative building in the world, and is now a tourist attraction.

The Telegraph, London

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