"The true home of kings and the house of ages" is how Napoleon Bonaparte described the Palace of Fontainebleau, the royal residence that sits in the heart of a vast forest almost 60 kilometres south-east of Paris.

Fontainebleau started out as a 12th-century hunting lodge, was transformed into a palace in the 16th century and became associated with every French ruler – king, queen, empress and emperor – for almost 800 years.

Now, thanks to Abu Dhabi's sponsorship of the restoration of Fontainebleau's theatre, the name of the President, Sheikh Khalifa, will be added to an illustrious list that includes Francois I, Henry IV, Louis XIV, and Napoleon III.

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