Month: June 2011

REST IN PEACE (AND IN PLACE)

Posted by – June 9, 2011

Beneath the streets of Paris lies an expansive network of catacombs riddling the dark netherworld throughout the vestiges of what originally were the city’s stone quarries.  I first learned of this vast underground ossuary while I was shooting on location in Paris for a medical-company client, and just had to see it for myself.

With a little “finagling” by a local supplier, I got special permission to visit this vast denizen-of-the-dead — population, about six million.  This multitude of deceased humanity was reinterred there in the interest of public health after being mass-exhumed from the city’s overflowing, perpetually re-used public cemeteries.  This change of address was prompted by the city’s expansion beyond the former edges of town where commoners traditionally were buried.  (Location, location, location.)  Later, the bones were more reverently arranged and the tunnels more-adorned as befitting a sepulcher.