Thieves use Paris catacombs to steal fine wine – report

Thieves who stole more than 250,000 euros worth of fine wine from a Paris apartment cellar exploited the French capital’s vast underground tunnel network, according to French media reports.

Thieves knocked through a wall of the Paris catacombs to break into the luxury apartment’s cellar and steal an estimated 250,000 euros-worth of vintage wines, French media has reported police as saying.

There are an estimated six million people buried in the Paris catacombs, part of a vast underground tunnel network stretching for several miles underneath the French capital.

French media said that the thieves stole around 300 bottles of fine wine from the cellar of an apartment in the plush sixth arrondissement of Paris, near to the Le Jardin du Luxembourg. No specific wines were named.

A map showing the sixth arrondissement of Paris.

A map showing the sixth arrondissement of Paris. Image credit: Google Maps.

Paris police said that they were investigating how the theft took place.

Police speculated that such precision in the catacombs network would require significant research and planning by the culprits.

Earlier this summer, two teenagers were lost in the Paris catacombs for three days.

Only two kilometres of the network is open to the public. The gates are locked at night, yet groups are known to find ways into the tunnels to hold illicit parties.

Parisians began burying their dead underground in the 18th Century in response to overflowing graveyards.

Some of the estimated six million dead met their end at the guillotine during the French Revolution and subsequent Terror period at the end of 18th Century.

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