It seemed a small enough price to pay for a lovingly restored ancient monument which still had bricks-and-mortar shelter value. Certainly the price compared favorably with, say, a painting by the Flemish master. Lot and his Daughters  went under the hammer in 2016 for $58million! But that was news because it broke records but reg'lar Rubens portraits go for about the same price as his substantial, functional home. It made me wonder about the cost of authentique French chateaux. Here's one in Lot-et-Garonne, same size as Het Steen with 33 hectares to keep people at a distance. It's half the price of Rubens home-place. There is a wide range of choice in and around the 1 €uromillion. On dit que you'll need at least as much again salted away for care and maintenance. €1m will buy you a quite modest terraced house in Dublin 4 or D6. There's something wonk in all this.
Note added in press. Check out Rachel Rothwell's rather wonderful Wexford Stories today? She has republished the very first of my earlier Not Sunday Miscellany stories with a good quality repro of the actual picture in all its 1960s chilliness.