A bomb gutted a 17th century wing of the famous Versailles Palace outside Paris, early on Monday (26 June) wrecking valuable painting, antique furniture and other art works.
GV: Versailles Palace
SV: police at gate palace.
GV ZOOM TO: shattered windows and rubble lying in forecourt (4 shots)
SV: wreckage on balcony.
SV: rubble in doorway and broken window (3 shots)
CU: broken masonry on floor.
GV: damaged painting on wall and wreckage on floor.
SV: wreckage and painting on floor. (2 shots)
Hubert Landais, the Director of French Museums estimated damage to the building alone at five million francs (one million dollars) but the harm done to its treasures is incalculable. The main tourist attractions of Versailles, the Royal Bedrooms, the Opera house and the Hall of Mirrors were not damaged.
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Background: A bomb gutted a 17th century wing of the famous Versailles Palace outside Paris, early on Monday (26 June) wrecking valuable painting, antique furniture and other art works. The Palace was built as a principle residence by Louis the fourteenth and was the home of French Kings and the seat of government for 100 years from the 17th century.
SYNOPSIS: One of the glories of the French Cultural Heritage, Versailles is visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists every year.
A night watchman was slightly injured when the bomb went off. Although bomb attacks take place almost daily in France, police were puzzled as to why anyone would choose Versailles as a target. Two unknown leftist groups and a Breton separatist organisation have claimed responsibility.
Seven halls recently renovated were severely damaged, though from the outside there were few signs of the explosion, except for a few shattered windows. The wing is easily accessible from the street and police said they were not sure whether the bomb was placed during the night or before closing time on Sunday afternoon (25 June).
The worst damage was in the ground floor picture gallery of the recently restored "midi" wing. According to the Versailles curator a huge 1812 painting by the French artist Debret the Emperor napoleon was reduced to tatters.