Famous Photographer Dies of Hypothermia After Falling on Busy Paris Street and Being Ignored For 9 Hours

Famous Photographer Dies of Hypothermia After Falling on Busy Paris Street and Being Ignored For 9 Hours

An 85-year-old famous Swiss photographer was walking on a busy street in Paris when he had a dizzy spell and fell to the ground.


He laid there for 9-hours, completely ignored, and eventually died of hypothermia.

And now, the people of France are horrified with themselves and are questioning if they have any “humanity.”

The Guardian reported that the death of an 85-year-old man who reportedly succumbed to hypothermia after falling and spending nine hours sprawled and ignored on a bitterly cold street in central Paris has prompted grief, anger and incredulity in France and beyond.

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René Robert, a Swiss photographer known for his shots of some of Spain’s most famous flamenco stars, died last week after slipping while on one of his nightly walks around the busy Paris neighbourhood where he lived.

According to his friend the journalist Michel Mompontet, Robert fell over on Rue de Turbigo, between the Place de la République and Les Halles.

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“He suffered a dizzy spell and fell,” Mompontet said in a series of tweets. “Unable to get up, he lay rooted to the spot in the cold for nine hours until a homeless person called the emergency services. Too late. He had hypothermia and couldn’t cling on to life. Over the course of those nine hours no passerby stopped to check why this man was lying on the pavement. Not one.”

Mompontet, who also recounted the circumstances of his friend’s death on France TV Info, said Robert had been “killed by indifference”, adding: “If this awful death could serve some purpose, it would be this: when a human is lying on the pavement, we should check on them – no matter how busy we may be. Let’s just stop for a second.”

The piece goes on to say that Robert’s death occurred in an area of Paris where many homeless people sleep. But it has now sparked a debate about civic responsibility and basic human decency.

A headline in Le Figaro read: “The photographer René Robert, dead in the indifference of the middle of the street.”


The Spanish embassy in the Netherlands tweeted: “The death of René Robert, who immortalised with his camera all the great artists of flamenco, challenges our collective conscience.”

Robert, who photographed flamenco legends including Camarón de la Isla and Paco de Lucía, was remembered by another of his more recent subjects.

All of these people will write snappy headlines and profound articles about what happened, but will they do anything differently?

Will they check on all those bodies just laying in the street and see if they need help?

Maybe I am cynical, but I doubt it.


According to homeless associations, 600 people die on the streets of France every year.

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