Abandoned for 70 years: 19th century treasures discovered in Paris apartment

Many would expect abandoned homes to be dilapidated and worn out - especially after being untouched for over seven decades.

But for a home in Paris, it was as if time stood still.

Possessions which include 19th century paintings, olden-day objects and other treasures were found in good condition in the apartment.

The homeowner, identified only as Madame de Florian, had fled to the south of France during World War II.

The Independent reported that the flat was rediscovered about six years ago when its owner died at the age of 91.

The people who discovered the place had been brought in to value the home.

A video of the apartment, which also provides some insights on the home, is available online.

Located near a church in the 9th arrondissement in Paris, which is close to the French capital's Pigalle red-light district, the apartment contained many treasures including art pieces and vintage soft toys, The Daily Mail reported.

One of the experts, Mr Oliver Choppin-Janvry, described walking into the home to be like "stumbling into the castle of Sleeping Beauty".

He was reportedly blown away by a tableau of a woman in a pink muslin evening dress, which later turned out to be an artpiece by 19th century Italian artist Giovanni Boldini, The Independent reported.

Further investigation also revealed that the woman in pink happened to be Madame de Florian's grandmother, Marthe de Florian, a French actress and socialite.

This particular painting was later sold at an auction for more than US$3million ($4.2 million).

Although covered in dust, it was obvious that the apartment was rich in history and filled with priceless objects from the past.

Despite the many discoveries derived from unlocking the apartment, some questions are still left unanswered.

Why did Madame de Florian leave the city and not return even after the war? What was she trying to avoid?

After all, she still continued paying rent for the apartment years after she had left, according to information provided in the video.

The apartment might be unlocked now but the story behind it could remain a mystery for the rest of time.