Resistance hero turned art dealer Daniel Cordier, now 98, is selling key works ranging from Dubuffet to Mapplethorpe

The early life of Daniel Cordier reads like something out of a John le Carré thriller: soldier, spy, resistance hero, art dealer. After parachuting into Nazi-occupied France in 1942 aged 22 on the orders of the exiled General Charles de Gaulle in London, Cordier worked with the leader of the French resistance, Jean Moulin.

Their mission – to unify the disparate underground network across the country – was vital to the war effort, but also sparked in Cordier a lifelong love of contemporary art as the pair criss-crossed France, posing as art dealers seeking paintings and collectable artefacts.

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