1695216507 Its heartbreaking The first visitors to Serge Gainsbourgs home were

“It’s heartbreaking”: The first visitors to Serge Gainsbourg’s home were overwhelmed with emotion

“It’s heartbreaking,” “moving,” “I’m like a madman”: the first visitors entered Serge Gainsbourg’s legendary hideout at 5 Rue de Verneuil in Paris on Wednesday, 32 years after his disappearance.

The first to emerge from the half-hour visit, with the voice of Charlotte Gainsbourg as an audio guide, is bleary-eyed and struggling to find his words. “It’s very moving,” breathes Jérôme Bassin, 40 years old, resident in the Paris region. It commemorates “the room” in which the artist was found dead in 1991. And speaks of a “smell”, that of cold cigarette butts in the living room ashtray, between a pack of Gitanes and a Zippo lighter.

“It's heartbreaking”: The first visitors to Serge Gainsbourg's home were overwhelmed with emotion


At the request of Charlotte Gainsbourg, who campaigned to open this place to the public, nothing has changed for 32 years.

“We are entering a time machine,” says José Sarica, 46, in more detail. With a pin with the face of Jane Birkin – who lived here from the late 1960s to 1980 – on the back of his jacket, this Marseillais took a week’s holiday to visit and “pay homage” to the author of La Javanaise. “I’ll be back tomorrow,” he admits.

“It's heartbreaking”: The first visitors to Serge Gainsbourg's home were overwhelmed with emotion


“I’m upset, I cried, well, I cry easily, but when we get to the bedroom, the place where Serge Gainsbourg met his end, it hits us in the stomach,” he continues.

He pays tribute to the words of Charlotte Gainsbourg, recorded for the audio guide, in which this temple guard manages to be “so humble and at the same time convey so much intimacy”.

“It's heartbreaking”: The first visitors to Serge Gainsbourg's home were overwhelmed with emotion


As he passed the bathroom, “he also imagined Jane Birkin washing her hair with her daughter Kate [fruit d’une première union] and Charlotte.

“My daughter’s name is Charlotte-Jane”

He added: “It was like I was 10 years old again, dreaming of becoming Charlotte’s girlfriend.”

Yann Boucaud, from Charente-Maritime, 48 years old, is pleased that he was able to “immerse himself in the daily life” of the Gainsbourg family when Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin “returned from the club” at a time when Kate and Charlotte was “awakened”.

Charlotte tells “really great anecdotes,” says this man in the Blur group T-shirt happily. He particularly remembers “the living room where he received everyone, where there is a whole collection of police badges and handcuffs,” with which the artist toasted at the end of the night. He was also influenced by “the room in which he died” and, incidentally, “Charlotte talks about grief”. “There is a lot of worn furniture, we feel the presence of Serge Gainsbourg,” he emphasizes.

Barbara Zjafe, a 51-year-old Parisian, had an appointment for the visit at 1:30 p.m., but was there from 7:30 a.m. “I’m crazy, it’s a very important day in my life, and so is my daughter,” calls Charlotte-Jane. » In his hand, wrapped like a bouquet of flowers, lies a small cabbage, a homage to “the man with the cabbage,” the artist’s nickname and the title of one of his legendary albums. Serge Gainsbourg’s profile tattoo on his forearm.

Florent, 40, a resident of the Paris region, has a ticket for October 6th. “But I wanted to be there for the opening this morning for the first visitors.”

If you’re just discovering the place’s opening, you’ll have to wait: it’ll be full until the end of 2023. Around 100,000 visitors are expected per year.