Friday, 10 January 2014

Untouched "Time Capsule" apartment in Paris for 70 years

In 1942, the owner of one Parisian apartment left her home for Southern France, trying to escape a Nazi raid. Although she never returned to the apartment, she kept paying the rent until her death at the age of 91. Interestingly, the owner of the apartment was the granddaughter of Marthe de Florian, a true Parisian gem of her time, a socialite and an actress with many admirers lining up at her door. The apartment had been isolated until her death three years ago, when the owner‘s executor sent a team to investigate her past home. The Parisian “Time Capsule“ included not only the beautifully-preserved luxurious interior, but also a stunning painting featuring a woman in pink muslin evening dress.

The painting was identified as 19th century Italian painter Giovanni Boldini’s portrait of Marthe de Florian, his muse and the grandmother of the woman who left the apartment behind so long ago. The painter and the muse were identified from love notes written by Boldini to Madame de Florian that were discovered in the apartment. It was later specified that the artwork was painted in 1898, when the muse was 24. The value of the painting has already reached $3.4 M and the painting is considered to be one of the finest art discoveries of this century.

Some people might take a vacation and leave their residence unmanned for a few weeks or even months, but this apartment in Paris was left isolated for about 70 years. The beautifully preserved space, was paid for, month after month over the course of numerous decades, yet never returned to in all that time, leaving it not only unoccupied, but also completely untouched. The luxurious woman's heirs decided to make an inventory of her apartment when they discovered its preserved interior and the many treasures inside. The time capsule home also disclosed her love affair with the artist through a stack of love letters they exchanged. The apartment, which proved to be as rich with possessions as it is with secrets, is currently closed off to the public, though some speculate that may change.

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