Paris' historic Hotel Lambert, once home to the likes of Voltaire and Chopin, was partly damaged by fire early Wednesday.
The BBC reports that the 17th-century structure lost a section of its roof and a central staircase and saw water and smoke damage to celebrated fresco paintings by Charles Le Brun, who also designed the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles.
You may not know the name Marie Duplessis, but odds are you know some stories about her. She inspired a French novel, which was turned into a successful play, several movies (including one starring Greta Garbo), a ballet and, most famously, a great Italian opera — La Traviata.
To say that Nashvillean Spencer Hays is crazy for French art is an understatement. "French art just quickens our step, fires our spirit and touches our heart," he says.
Hays' passion began when he was in his 30s. By then he was already a millionaire; Forbes estimated his worth at $400 million in 1997, money earned from book-selling and clothing businesses. Hays had humble beginnings.