The grave of journalist Victor Noir at Père Lachesis cemetery in Paris. Noir was killed in a duel with Prince Pierre Bonaparte in 1870. The prince was so unpopular that 100,000 people attended Noir’s funeral. Twenty years later sculptor Jules Dalou was commissioned to create a tomb. Dalou sculpted him at the moment of death, with his top hat fallen beside him. And an unmistakable bulge in his trousers. Around the 1970s the grave began to be seen as something of a fertility symbol. The custom is for women to, uh, “avail” themselves of the sculpture’s most obvious feature and then, for good luck, to leave a red rose in the journalist’s top hat. Over the years, that ladies of Paris have repeated this ritual so frequently that Noir’s member (and, coincidentally, his nose and mouth) are smooth and shiny, in contrast to the dull blue-green bronze of the rest of the tomb.
The situation clearly calls for cemetery officials to install a 24/7 webcam.
Vas y , il faut te frotter, ça porte bonheur.