Paris cemetery bans grave rubbing fetishists

2nd November 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Nov 2 (AFP) - Authorities in Paris's historic Pere Lachaise cemetery have sealed off one of its most visited tombs in order to prevent the perpetration of lewd acts on the prostrate bronze form of a murdered 19th century journalist.

PARIS, Nov 2 (AFP) - Authorities in Paris's historic Pere Lachaise cemetery have sealed off one of its most visited tombs in order to prevent the perpetration of lewd acts on the prostrate bronze form of a murdered 19th century journalist.

The funerary relic of Victor Noir, shot dead in 1870 at the age of 22, has long been held as an aid to love or fertility by women, whose attentions have rubbed a protuberance in the statue's genital area to a smooth shine.

But alarmed by the growing frequency of the caresses - which they say are also increasingly intimate and no longer confined to women - officials have erected metal barriers around the grave and a sign reading: "Any damage caused by graffiti or indecent rubbing will be prosecuted."

Noir - whose real name was Yvan Salman - was killed by Pierre Bonaparte, a great-nephew of the Emperor Napoleon, after bearing him a challenge to a duel. Attended by 100,000 people, his funeral turned into a mass demonstration against the government of Napoleon III, who fell from power a few months later.

The statue by Amedee-Jule Dalou shows Noir in a frock coat and trousers lying flat on his back, with a distinct enlargement in the groin. According to the story, he was due to get married the day after he was killed - which accounts both for the lump and the cult.

The deputy mayor of Paris in charge of parks and gardens Yves Contassot said Tuesday that he had not been informed of the barriers, and that he would visit the tomb later this week.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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