The apartment was owned by the 23-year old Madame de Florian. Due to the German forces coming to France, she vacated the place and went south.
Leaving this place must have been very sad for her but she needed to flee as Germany is about to start invading France that time. World Waris budding across Europe.
She departed quickly, locked her Parisian apartment and headed to the relatively invasion-free south of demarcation zone.
She continued paying rents even after the war until she died of a ripe age of 90 on 2010. Yet she never returned. Her heirs only got to know this apartment after her death. Then they hired Olivier Choppin-Janvry, an auctioneer, to make an inventory of the apartment’s contents. Considering the time it was last occupied, they are understandably pessimistic.
Then they were surprised. The room is still preserved to its pre-World WarEra, looking like a place being frozen in time. A lot of time passed since then, the smell of dust is everywhere and so with cow webs. They are taken back in time because the room boasted treasures from the 1900’s. They noticed that the works of art are taken off the walls, as if the owner wanted to carry those but was short of time.
This intricate cosmetic table has still all the make-up and perfumes on as if these are waiting for their owner to return.
They also saw an old Mickey Mouse stuff toy in the corner showing one of its very first look. Amazing.
The heirs are also mystified as to the woman in pink dress in the painting. Further investigation revealed that she was Marthe de Florian, the previous occupant who is also Florian’s grandmother. She was a famous Parisian actress being classified as one of high-profile celebrities. There were also pieces of evidence found in her house that Presidents and Prime Ministers of France visited her in addition with a collection of love letters tied in ribbons.
Now that they knew the subject of the painting, they have to look for the painter. It was a tough time finding him but it was discovered that he was Giovanni Boldini – a famous Italian painter from the Belle Epoque period. The painting was then auctioned on March 2010 with a price of $ 3.4 million – the highest for his work.
The heirs were left puzzled as to why she did not return despite continuously paying the rent for the next 70 years. Her reason to leave and the disarray arrangement of her place was understandable given how horrifying World Waris about to begin in France but they could not see the reason for not returning. Until then, this remains a mystery for her heirs.
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