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Thirty-year-old corpse found in £30m Paris mansion near French PM’s house

Written by on 11/08/2020

A 30-year-old corpse has been discovered inside a £30m Paris mansion just a few hundred metres from the French prime minister’s official residence.

The body was found in the cellar by workmen surveying the site for a multimillion pound renovation, Le Monde reported.

The derelict property has stood empty for decades, but was bought by French businessman Jean-Bernard Lafonta at auction for €35.1m (£31.6m) – almost six times the reserve price – in January.

The hotel particulier – or private mansion – was once home to poet and playwright Francois Coppee.

It is just 700m away from the Hotel de Matignon, where the French PM Jean Castex lives, and backs on to the former residence of fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent.

Surveyors made the grim discovery on Rue Oudinot in the seventh arrondissement in February, but it has only just been made public, according to the French daily newspaper.

Police in Paris managed to identify the body as Jean-Pierre Renaud, a homeless alcoholic who died around 30 years ago.

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The house is only a few hundred metres away from the Hotel de Matignon where French PM Jean Castex lives
Image: The house is only a few hundred metres away from the Hotel de Matignon where French PM Jean Castex lives

His corpse was found with knife wounds and broken bones, prompting detectives to launch a murder investigation.

A police source told Le Monde: “Thirty years on, it appears to have been the result of a fight between homeless people.

“He had alcohol problems. The house seems to have been used as a squat when he died, but we can’t be sure he died here.”

The victim’s children have been informed, the source added.

Mr Lafonta did not comment and work is expected to start again on the mansion, which is protected by a strict preservation order, after the summer.

 Sky News

© Sky News 2020

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