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France divided over calls for Arthur Rimbaud and Paul Verlaine to be reburied in Panthéon


Petition says the poets, who were lovers as young men, were ‘the French Oscar Wildes’ and deserve to rest in the mausoleum

France’s cultural elite are split over whether the remains of two of the country’s greatest poets, Arthur Rimbaud and his lover Paul Verlaine, should be dug up and re-interred in the Panthéon in Paris.

The secular mausoleum is home to French greats including Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Émile Zola, Alexandre Dumas and Marie Curie. Now a petition signed by more than 5,000 people, including culture minister Roselyne Bachelot and a host of her predecessors, is calling on president Emmanuel Macron to allow Rimbaud and Verlaine to join them.

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