Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Panthéon

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It's striking, looking at these magnificent structures, how crucial prudent city planning is. Not a single highrise to blemish the view.

It was a beautiful day, and escaping the suffocating spores and pollen of the Jardin du Luxembourg, we came upon this monument built to honour French citizens of great distinction. We made our way down to the crypts, in which rested Victor Hugo and Alexandre Dumas, père. The two masters were side by side too. Then, to shake off the subterranean chill, we climbed up to the dome.

I was a bit unsettled at how what is supposed to be a mausoleum has become almost an attraction for gawkers and unruly tourists. Surely, Dumas must be horrified to be pointed at, and be subjected to P&S flashes everyday. But then it must mean something, for your life's work, and by extension your life, to be so treasured.

DF

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