CnP: I see, those journalists are never checking anything! Tell me, were the negotiations with the Duchess of Mecklenburg difficult? How did Hermann Hecher managed to beat the Hare Krishna sect which also wanted to buy the castle?
MH: You know, the talks were very difficult as the sect had offered more money. But thanks to the support of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate and the local municipality, my parents managed to secure the purchase.
CnP: I can imagine that your father spent a fortune on restoration works which lasted for some two decades. What kind of works were needed to make the castle suitable for living?
MH: First, investments had to be made in a basic renovation for water, electricity, gas, residential buildings, path and parking lot. Then the renovation of the historical castle complex with roofs, quarry stone walls, old plaster remnants (from the 14th century), wall and ceiling paintings, fringed glass windows, wood and iron works, etc. My father spent around 3mn DM in the period from 1975 to 1999. We - my son's catering business and my museum business - have invested around 5.5mn euros from 1999 to the present day (around 4mn of which are subsidies). In 2010 a new castle restaurant was built, which is run by the son and my daughter-in-law.