Sunday, December 6, 2015

Left behind at the Louvre: Part two

Read Part one right here.

We went through customs in Montreal and, fortunately enough, we got to deal with a very pleasant fellow. He listened to our story, took in all the details, examined the receipts and decided our best bet was to declare the purchases so there would be a record of them if and when they made their way to Canada. That part of it felt good anyway.

The day after we got home, we began our campaign by going to the Louvre website. I think we just went to "Louvre shops" and clicked on "contact us." We thought it would be smooth sailing from there.

I will be never be able to tell you the whole story of our relationship with the Louvre shops. It's just too lengthy and complicated.

It started on August 31, when Dan wrote this email to the very shop where he had left the package:

On Monday August 29 I bought four items of jewelry at the Louvre book store and gift shop, but mistakenly did not collect them after I paid at the caisse. Because the museum and shop were closed on mardi, I could not return to collect the items before my flight back to Canada.

The four tags for the items of jewelry and the receipt from the caisse are attached.

Can you ship these items to me in Canada, please? And please advise what I need to do to pay for the shipping.

On September 2, he sent this one, to a different address:

Below is an email I sent two days ago. Since there has not yet been a reply, I am writing to this address to try and bring my request to the attention of the people who can assist.

Thank you.

As autumn went on, there were several more attempts on our part. Early in the new year, our subject line looked like this:

PLEASE READ -- LIREZ S'IL VOUS PLAIT! Jewelry bought at Louvre but left behind by mistake

And our email message, in big bold letters, looked like this:

We are very disappointed and discouraged as we have sent this note so many times and we cannot get any response. It wouldn’t be such an issue if it didn’t involve a lot of money. Please read and respond!

(Another of the items left behind: a lapis lazuli scarab necklace)

We did get a response on January 6 from Olivier Bassibey that said this:

Your message was deleted without being read on Friday, January 06, 2012 11:08:42 PM (GMT+01:00) Brussels, Copenhagen, Madrid, Paris.

It was the first of several messages, with a whole variety of names attached.

From Christophe Legendre:

Votre message a été lu le lundi 9 janvier 2012 09:07:00 (GMT+01:00) Bruxelles, Copenhague, Madrid, Paris.

From Laure Doublet:

Votre message a été lu le lundi 9 janvier 2012 10:15:24 (GMT+01:00) Bruxelles, Copenhague, Madrid, Paris.

There were others, all very similar, all from different names.

Then, on January 9, came this note:

Dear Customer,

This day we received an email about jewelery you have forgotten in August 2011 at the Louvre store. I’m a little embarassed because we sent to you two mails on the 7th october 2011 and the 27th october 2011 without any response of you, with the following adress mail [the email address was my brother-in-law's workplace address in Antwerp — long story but he didn't get it]. It was the only adress mail in our possession received in our store at the end of september 2011.Your items are still available in our shop and you may come to recover it when you want. Don’t hesitate to write to us for any further questions to the following mail send you files attached. Hoping this response can bring you any satisfaction.

Best regards.


I loved Florence so much right then, I wished I could "come to recover it."

(A brooch, also inspired by a painting)

I'll spare you all the details of how we finally made the arrangements to get the packages but in my second last note from Florence, she had a couple of questions about one of the pieces, then she said:

"Thank you to give us your preference. In return we ‘ll send you gifts and purchases ,and the references to follow this sending on the internet. Sorry for the waiting. All the best. Florence"

And finally, on March 14:


Your package left today. The references to follow this sending is CY 660738024 FR. We wish you good reception. Thank you for your patience.

Best regards. Florence

When the package arrived, Florence had indeed included little gifts: an unusual golden bookmark that you slip into your pages and it hooks over the top of the book; two exquisite notebooks, different sizes with Louvre art on both covers; and a lovely Louvre calendar. The things that Dan had bought were whisked away so they could be presented — according to his original plan — as gifts for birthday, Mother's Day and wedding anniversary, all coming up in May.

They've been enjoyed and appreciated ever since.

(This is close to being the other brooch. I browsed for this picture.)

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