A cascade reaction of 1-(2-(3-acetoxyprop-1-ynyl)phenyl)prop-2-ynyl acetate and its derivatives is catalyzed by gold to give the corresponding benzoannulenes (see scheme) in excellent yields. A double activation of the gold catalyst toward two different propargylic carboxylates was proposed. Benzoannulenes were hydrolyzed to 8-hydroxybenzoannulene-5-ones.
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