A regional council in England is considering buying the house where ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were poisoned fearing the dwelling could be bought and used as a business looking to cash in on its notoriety.
Officials from Wiltshire county were quoted on June 9 as saying Skripal’s neighbors were concerned the house in the city of Salisbury may be turned into a bed and breakfast or another high-traffic business that would disrupt the area.
"The council has committed to ensuring that the property is not used to trade on its history…and is prepared to purchase it should the owner wish to sell," the Daily Mail newspaper quoted council director Alistair Cunningham as saying.
Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, were hospitalized for weeks following the poisoning believed to have been carried out in Salisbury on March 4, 2018, by Russian military intelligence officers later identified as Anatoly Chepiga and Aleksandr Mishkin.
One British civilian later died after coming into contact with Novichok, the nerve agent used in the attack.
Since the incident, which led to international condemnation and accusations of Kremlin involvement by Britain, the Skripal poisoning has entered popular culture in both the United Kingdom and Russia.
Businesses now peddle "Novichok" olive oil, a Russian board game titled Our Guys In Salisbury, and various merchandise playing on memes and phrases made famous by media coverage of the event.
"Neighbors are concerned as to what might happen to the property if it were sold," Cunningham was quoted as saying.
"If it is purchased the council would ensure the property is used for residential purposes," he added.
Neither of the Skripals have returned to live in the house since the attack.
The Sun newspaper estimated the house's value at about 200,000 British pounds ($255,000).
'Scare B'n'B': Local Council Looks To Keep Skripal House From Becoming Tourist Trap