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rue Drouot
9th arrondissement

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The streets around Drouot, the auction house that was the hub of the city’s art and antiques trade, were lined with dealers’ showrooms and the offices of miscellaneous experts. Most cultivated an air of aristocratic amateurism, proof that the Ancien Régime’s disdain for all things overtly commercial hung on in the rarefied world of antiques and historical artefacts. Not so François Rabourdin, whose demeanour was more that of the curator of an avant-garde gallery than a dealer in old photographs. He was all business – which Franck assumed was why Bencherif had sought him out.
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