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Thirty-year-old corpse found in £30m Paris mansion

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.