Asbestos Holds Up Chaplin Museum Plans

by Sokolove Law

Plans for a Charlie Chaplin museum in the famous comedian’s former home have slowed following the discovery of asbestos in the building, according to the Digital Journal, an online news site.

Chaplin was an icon of the silent film era and a worldwide celebrity, perhaps best known today for his “Little Tramp” character. In recent years, his family has been involved with a $60 million effort to turn his mansion in Switzerland into a tourist attraction called “Chaplin’s World.”

However, project architect Philippe Meylan says the building contains asbestos “in the paintings, the floors, the joints…everywhere,” according to the French newspaper 20 Minutes.

To remove the asbestos will add three months and between $220,000 and $330,000 to the cost of the Chaplin project, according to the Digital Journal. The museum is scheduled to open in 2015.

During the 20th century, building materials that contained asbestos were often used to provide insulation, fireproofing, and soundproofing in homes and commercial buildings in Europe and the United States.

Studies have since shown that exposure to asbestos can cause mesothelioma, a fatal cancer. Despite the dangers of asbestos exposure, this toxic substance still is not banned in the U.S. Switzerland, however, banned asbestos in 1989.

Left undisturbed, asbestos may pose a minimal health threat. However, renovation or construction projects – such as the proposed Chaplin museum – can damage the surfaces of materials that contain asbestos and cause them to release tiny particles of it into the air, putting workers and others at risk of exposure.  

If you or a loved one has been exposed to asbestos and diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Call Sokolove Law today for a free case evaluation.