A woman abandoned her Parisian apartment at the beginning of World War II, leaving for the south of France. She never returned, but continued to pay the rent until she died recently at the age of 91.
Entering the untouched, cobweb-filled flat in Paris' 9th arrondissement, 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. 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, as well as an exquisite dressing table.
A very valuable Boldoni painting was among the discoveries, but that is less interesting to me than the apartment itself. And why did she never return?