The story of the Parisian Victor Noir, or How to remain a favorite of women after death

The Parisian cemetery of Pere Lachaise has become the last refuge for many worthy men of France. However, there are graves in the cemetery, the merits of the owners of which are not so great, and the popularity is simply huge. Like, for example, the burial place of Victor Noir, an ordinary journalist. (Careful! Some materials of the article may shock!)

The story of the Parisian Victor Noir, or How to remain a favorite of women after death

Victor Noir was young, handsome and, without a doubt, talented. However, a 22-year-old Parisian died in the prime of his life, on the eve of his own wedding. Since royalty was involved in his death, its circumstances were carefully concealed, and the death of the journalist itself became known only many years later.

Victor Noir was a favorite of women during his lifetime, but he did not even dream of the success with ladies that he has after death

The story began with the fact that the famous French publicist Pascal Grousset, who wrote under the pseudonym Andre Laurie, was offended by a letter from Prince Pierre Napoleon Bonaparte, a relative of Emperor Napoleon III.

The insult could not be tolerated, because the lampoon was published in the popular publication "Avenir de la Corse". Only a duel could save the honor of Pascal Grousse and, according to the duel code of that time, the writer sent his second to the offender.

A duel. Drawing of the middle of the XIX century

A young journalist Ivan Salmon, who wrote under the pseudonym Victor Noir, volunteered for this role. It should be noted that Victor was not very experienced in dueling matters and learned about the details of his mission briefly before its implementation.

Together with his colleague, Ulric de Fonville, who accompanied him, Noir went to the Prince of the blood, for some reason armed with revolvers. Here we need to digress and tell a little about Pierre Bonaparte himself, a relative of the monarch.

The story of the Parisian Victor Noir, or How to remain a favorite of women after death

Pierre-Napoleon Bonaparte

From his early youth, Pierre was distinguished by a quick temper and a penchant for adventures. Already at the age of 15, together with friends, he went to support the revolution in the Italian Romagna, but was returned home. After that, the emperor's nephew was sent, out of harm's way, to North America to a relative.

In the United States, young Bonaparte also got into a dubious company and as part of a military squadron found himself in Colombia, where he took part in the local war. After the completion of the Colombian company, Pierre Napoleon Bonaparte was again carried to Italy, where he joined the ranks of the conspirators plotting the overthrow of the pope.

One of the cartoons of Prince Pierre Bonaparte in the Paris press

Despite his weight in society and a solid position, Pierre Bonaparte did not settle down and periodically left for various exotic places of the planet to support dubious revolutions and uprisings. In 1867, the prince married the daughter of a simple Parisian worker and became not a member of the imperial court.

Pierre Noir and a friend came to such a person on January 10, 1870, directly to the apartment. The seconds noisily began to demand a meeting with the owner, but he behaved offensively and arrogantly, telling the uninvited guests that he would not accept the challenge because he did not shoot with the lackeys of Rochefort. Such a sharp response was caused by the fact that the initiator of the duel, Pascal Grousse, worked for the opposition publisher Henri de Rochefort-Luce. Rochefort was a long-time opponent of the prince in the press and constantly pestered Pierre Bonaparte with his criticism.

The story of the Parisian Victor Noir, or How to remain a favorite of women after death

The Death of Victor Noir

Since Noir and de Fonville continued to be rowdy and refused to leave, the prince himself came out to them to personally express his displeasure. The visitors got into a dispute with the landlord, during which Victor Noir hit a relative of the Emperor of France in the face. The resolute and seasoned prince pulled out a revolver and with one shot struck down Noir on the spot.

It is worth saying that despite the testimony of de Fonville, who claimed that Bonaparte started the fight first, the court acquitted the prince and the murder got away with it. But the journalist's death was not in vain — it was actively used by the opposition to agitate against the Bonaparts. It can be said that the death of Victor Noir was one of the important factors that served as the beginning of the end of the monarchy, which soon ceased to exist.

The story of the Parisian Victor Noir, or How to remain a favorite of women after death

The well-fed and middle-aged prince does not look at all like a rake and a duelist, but nevertheless…

The deceased journalist was buried with honors by the opposition journalism fraternity at the Pere Lachaise cemetery, among the most prominent men of France. They spared no expense on the tombstone and ordered it from the famous sculptor Jules Dalou. The monument depicts Victor Noir lying on his back immediately after the fatal shot.

The story of the Parisian Victor Noir, or How to remain a favorite of women after death

The story of the Parisian Victor Noir, or How to remain a favorite of women after death

Today, the path to the grave of Victor Noir is not overgrown. His neighbors in the cemetery are Jim Morrison, Honore de Balzac, Edith Piaf and Oscar Wilde, however, the tombstones of these famous people are not as visited as the grave of a simple journalist.

The story of the Parisian Victor Noir, or How to remain a favorite of women after death

Over the years, the lips and groin of the bronze figure have been polished by thousands of touches. The cemetery administration does not welcome the piquant tradition too much. Concerned about the personal life of the ladies not only forget about decency, but also lead to the gradual destruction of the bronze figure. At one time, the monument to Noir was protected by a fence, but this did not stop the women. As a result, the officials had only to accept and watch with envy the success of the bronze man among ladies of different nationalities and ages.

The story of the Parisian Victor Noir, or How to remain a favorite of women after death

The story of the Parisian Victor Noir, or How to remain a favorite of women after death

The spectacular, but not too smart Dita von Teese at the grave of Victor Noir

By the way, among the fans of Noir are not only simple petitioners of female happiness, but also star persons. Some photo shoots with the monument look not just strange, but also frankly offensive for such a sad place. But what can you do — the Pere Lachaise cemetery has long been an important tourist attraction and people try to overlook the antics of its visitors.

Keywords: Duel | Cemetery | Tombstone | Napoleon | Paris

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