A time capsule, full of treasures

Written by Thomas Büsch on . Posted in My Invisible Eye

Inside the Paris apartment untouched for 70 years: Treasure trove finally revealed after owner locked up and fled at outbreak of WWII

 

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Madame de Florian was a French socialite and actress who fled to the south of France during World War II. She kept her apartment in Paris on the Right Bank near the Opéra Garnier, though, in case she wanted to return. However, she never went back to it after the war. Since 1942, the apartment has been sitting untouched, until recently when an auctioneer entered her apartment. What he found was a time capsule, full of treasures.

The property was found near a church in the French capital’s 9th arrondissement, between Pigalle red light district and Opera. Experts were tasked with drawing up an inventory of her possessions which included a painting by the 19th century Italian artist Giovanni Boldini.

One expert said it was like stumbling into the castle of Sleeping Beauty, where time had stood still since 1900. ‘There was a smell of old dust,’ said Olivier Choppin-Janvry, who made the discovery.

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Mrs de Florian fled Paris before the outbreak of war in 1939, which saw the Nazis invade France and reach Paris on June 14. Pictured here, German officers and Parisians mingle near a sidewalk cafe on the Champs Elysees on Bastille Day in 1940.

First published in mail online

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