I'm curious to find out why until now this story hasn't been revealed but . . . Back in 2010 a Parisian apartment on the Right Bank, near the Opéra Garnier, left unoccupied since 1942 was discovered.
It was owned by a socialite, actress, Madame de Florian who fled to the South of France during World War II and left everything behind. For years she continued to pay her rent and unfortunately never returned. It was until after she passed away at 91, did someone reenter the apartment.
Over 70 years later, an Auctioneer entered to evaluate the estate. Olivier Choppin- Janvry made the discovery, "There was a smell of old dust."
He discovered a stuffed ostrich, a Mickey Mouse toy dating from before the war amongst other taxidermy pieces. Which was a sign of affluence to have in the home.
Another discovery, perhaps even more interesting to some, they found a painting by Giovanni Boldini. Madame de Florian herself, was the subject who turned out to be the artist's former muse. The expert found a card with a scribbled love note from Boldini, the painting was sold for €2.1 million, which was a world record for the artist.
The rest of the apartment and it's components are being left undisturbed. They're privately owned by the estate and not open to the public. Other than the fact that this gem of a story is an amazing fairy tale come true, I'm in love with the idea that it will continue to be left a time capsule until the estate decides to do differently. One can only hope that someday it will be on view at a museum and not separated to be sold for individuals. This is just another example of why Paris is so fantastic and romantic. An apartment in New York would NEVER be left untouched, even if someone continued to pay rent. Swoon. . .
Thanks for reading.
Thank you to the Bello Blog for supplying us with this wonderful story and images. .