Paris’ Pere Lachaise cemetery is the final resting place of some very influential people, including Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf, and Jim Morrison, as well as countless others. Like other cemeteries, it’s full of heartfelt memorials and classic grave markers.
There is, however, one exception to the traditional rule, and it’s one that’s been causing giggles for the past 140 or so years. It’s the grave of journalist Victor Noir, who died in a duel in 1870 and whose death had political repercussions throughout the country. And whoever created it made some very interesting stylistic choices.
This is Victor Noir.
He’s happy to see you.
The grave, which shows Noir at the moment of his death, lying on the ground in street clothes, is famous for the very noticeable bulge in his pants.
It’s not clear why this was done. Was it a reference to Noir’s…active social life? We’ll likely never know.
What we do know, however, is that in the years after his death, Noir’s grave became a fertility symbol to Parisian women.
It’s believed that touching or rubbing Noir’s bulge and kissing the statue on the lips, then leaving a flower in the upturned top hat, will guarantee fertility, childbirth, and a good sex life.
Because of this, the face and crotch of the statue show considerable wear, having been rubbed shiny by countless hands — and who knows what else.
Although, because of the wear, it kind of just looks like an unfortunate stain.
In 2004, a fence was erected (ahem) around the statue to prevent these kinds of goings-on, but it was removed by popular demand.
And people still visit Noir to this day for a little quality time.
(via Messy Nessy Chic)
If you happen to visit this famous cemetery, stop by the grave of Victor Noir. He’s always happy to have visitors. Let’s keep the inappropriate acts to a minimum, though.