Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris contains the graves of many famous people, including Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison. One person you may not have heard of, however, is Victor Noir. It is, in fact, his monument rather than his memory which draws people to his final resting place and for reasons you may not automatically associate with a cemetery.
You may have already noticed that much of his face is the familiar grey-green of oxidized bronze you would expect from a monument dating from 1891 (Noir died in 1870). However, the lips and the nose are unaccountably shiny. Victor Noir’s mouth and nose are regularly caressed and kissed. Yet the host of women who descend upon his tombstone have more than Victor’s face in mind when they visit. Despite only the faintest trace of a smile across it, Victor Noir is, it seems, still very pleased to see you.
The bronze sculpture has a very noticeable protrusion of some prominence in the trouser department. Whether or not this is a reflection of Victor’s reputation while alive it has certainly afforded him one post mortem. Victor’s monument has become one of France’s more unusual fertility symbols.
It is believed that if a woman kisses Victor on the lips and then rubs that bulge in his trousers then her fertility will be much enhanced and that a baby will follow soon after (the getting of which, according to the legend, will be even more blissful than usual). Single ladies in search of a man need not worry either: a furtive but friendly frottage with Monsieur Noir will ensure a husband within the year. From the looks of all that French polish, it seems that a lot of women believe the story.
Monday, September 28, 2015
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