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VIDEO. "I live there and I'm happy": Benoît Gallot lives with his family in the Père-Lachaise cemetery

2022-12-04T14:38:34.691Z

In his novel "The Secret Life of a Cemetery", Benoît Gallot lifts the veil on his daily life at Père-Lachaise and pays tribute to the work



He is one of the only living beings in Père-Lachaise.

Benoît Gallot, curator of the most visited cemetery in the world, since 2018, spends his days there: "I work there, I live there, I raise my children there, I sleep there... But hey, I'm very happy,” he jokes.

A way of life that is unthinkable for ordinary mortals, but which has several advantages, "it's the countryside in Paris" explains Benoît Gallot.

Read alsoHeritage in Paris: Père-Lachaise, stories engraved in marble

His role ?

Ensure that beyond its tourist dimension, the cemetery retains its primary function: to bury the dead and ensure their respect.

Guardians, gravediggers, roadmenders… He coordinates nearly 80 people to manage its proper functioning.

Benoît Gallot also welcomes bereaved families who wish to bury their loved one at Père-Lachaise, or checks the condition of the graves and takes back those that have been abandoned or destroyed to free up space.

“We analyze on a case-by-case basis what we do with each site,” explains the curator.

Do we resell it, do we leave it as it is because it has a heritage interest or are we going to vegetate the site?

This is what makes Père-Lachaise not just an open-air museum, but above all a cemetery.

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When closing time strikes, at 6 p.m., the curator likes to survey the 43 hectares of greenery in his free time, armed with his camera.

Birds, cats, weasels… He immortalizes unsuspected scenes of life in the land of the dead.

Among the approximately 70,000 graves, one evening in April 2020, in the midst of a pandemic, the curator of the place came face to face with a family of foxes.

A moment shared on his Instagram account and in his book.

Benoît Gallot thus delivers his message: yes, there is also “life in the cemetery”.

Watch our video report.

Source: leparis

All life articles on 2022-12-04

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