Heart of Belgian city mayor found entombed in fountain

Heart of Belgian city mayor found entombed in fountain Heart of Belgian city mayor found entombed in fountain

An ornate fountain in Verviers, eastern Belgium, has given up an object it held for more than a century: the heart of the city's first mayor.

The organ, sealed in a jar of alcohol inside a small zinc casket, was found during renovation of the fountain.

The casket is now on show in the city's Museum of Fine Arts. Mayor Pierre David died in 1839, but the fountain named after him was only inaugurated in 1883.

An engraving on the casket says it was placed in the monument at the time.

"The heart of Pierre David was solemnly placed in the monument on 25 June 1883", it reads.

The Verviers Alderman for Public Works, Maxime Degey, said "an urban legend has become reality: the casket was in the upper part of the fountain, right near the bust of Pierre David, behind a stone which we had removed during the fountain's renovation".

Quoted by broadcaster RTBF, he said the casket found by the builders on 20 August was "in really impeccable condition".

Mayor Pierre David died in a fall aged 68, while working in his hayloft in 1839.

The city authorities launched a collection fund for a monument to honour him, and with his family's consent surgeons removed his heart, so that it could be entombed in the monument.

The Verviers official website - verviers.be - says it then took decades for the city to collect enough money to erect a suitably ornate monument.

Meanwhile there were also arguments over how best to honour the city's first mayor, before the fountain at Place Verte went ahead.

Source: www.theheraldghana.com