When the Elysée Palace really started to go to the dogs: Startling new allegations that Nicolas Sarkozy's pets caused tens of thousands of euros worth of damage

The culprits are said to be Toumi, a Chihuahua, and Clara and Dumbledore, a pair of Labradors

Startling new allegations have emerged of misbehaviour in office during the Sarkozy presidency. However, the allegations concern not the former President – but his dogs.

According to a French news website, two Labradors and a Chihuahua belonging to Nicolas Sarkozy and Carla Bruni-Sarkozy wrecked the Silver Salon, a 200-year-old jewel of Empire-style furnishing in the Élysée Palace, in 2011-12, causing tens of thousands of euros worth of damage.

The dogs, it is alleged, were allowed to chew and scratch priceless furniture, carpets and soft-furnishing, including celebrated silken arm-rests embroidered with a swan’s beak motif.

Sources within the office of the “mobilier national” – the office which manages 70,000 antique items placed in government buildings – told the investigative news site Mediapart that re-gilding the doors of the savaged room alone cost €6,600 (£5,200).

Experts were dispatched to restore the Salon d’Argent to something approaching its former glory. The bill for the damage is thought to run to tens of thousands of euros – funded by the taxpayer.

The culprits are said to be Toumi, a Chihuahua, and Clara and Dumbledore, a pair of Labradors. The dogs ranged freely over the Élysée Palace but seem to have developed a taste for Empire-period furniture.

In an interview for the magazine Femmes Actuelles in 2009, Ms Bruni-Sarkozy said the First, Second and Third Dogs were “well-behaved, a true source of happiness”.

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