Originally called the ‘Sentier des Arches’ (the arches pathway) and the ‘Rue de Seine’, it next became a section of the rue Wilhelm before finally in 1894 being renamed in honour of the painter Narcisse Diaz (1807-1876), a friend of Gustave Courbet, next to whom in the 1860s he painted several scenes on the Normandy coast.
At No. 7 the street hosts the Clinique Mirabeau founded in 1929 where Trotsky and Natalia Sedov’s activist son, Lev Sedov, showing signs of appendicitis was advised to go in 1938 by his secretary, a secret agent of the Russian NKVD. The clinic’s director an informer for the NKVD was in charge of anaesthetising Sedov. Four days later, on February 18 1938, Sedov (born 1906 in Saint Petersbourg) was dead.
The opened records of the Stalin’s secret police show them congratulating themselves on his death, but some suggest it was not planned, and was due merely the incompetence of the surgeon.