'Time Capsule' Apartment Discovered In Paris
This story sounds almost like a fairy tale or the beginning of a big Hollywood production. Back in 2010 a Parisian apartment on the Right Bank, near the Opéra Garnier, left unoccupied since 1942 was discovered...
It was owned by Madame de Florian, a socialite and an actress, who fled to the South of France during WWII leaving everything behind. She never came back to Paris but kept on paying her rent until the day she died at the age of 91.
It was only after her death that an Auctioneer entered the apartment, the first time a person walks through the doors in over 70 years.
"There was a smell of old dust," said Olivier Choppin-Janvry who made the discovery. Walking under high wooden ceilings, past an old wood stove and stone sink in the kitchen, he spotted a stuffed ostrich and a Mickey Mouse toy dating from before the war. It would be a dream to stroke the curtains, to flip through the pages of each book, and maybe try to sneak out with a souvenir.
They also found a painting by Giovanni Boldini, the subject a beautiful Frenchwoman who turned out to be the artist’s former muse, Madame de Florian herself.
The expert could not find any records of the painting, until someone found a card with a scribbled love note from Boldini, the painting was sold for €2.1 million, a world record for the artist.