This is a snapshot of the former library of Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Bergé, located in their apartment at 55 Rue de Babylone in Paris. It's poignant to think such a collection, carefully gathered and curated over a lifetime, no longer exists. The contents of the apartment were auctioned off by Christie's in February 2009.
Bergé explained: “For a month, Yves had cancer and I had plenty of time to think. I decided to sell everything because the collection doesn’t exist if he doesn’t exist. After Yves’s death, to conserve the collection makes no sense. It will go away just like that. We all would very much like to attend our own funeral; of course, we can’t. But we can attend the funeral of a collection. It’s the end. It’s over. Economically, it’s impossible to do again. At my age, you don’t start a new collection, or buy wine too young, or plant small trees.
“In life we have to share—money, culture, everything. I love that idea. I’m very happy to have made with Yves one of the greatest collections of the century. In a few years, I will be very pleased to see at an exhibition the label ‘Provenance Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé.’ In time people will tell one another, ‘You really should know about these two guys, who lived in the 20th century in Paris.’ I don’t believe in God. I only believe in human beings, in memory. That’s all. The memory will persist.”
You can view more photos of the library - and the rest of the apartment - here and here.