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French book shows stars' final homes

By Associated Press
Published October 31, 2003

PARIS - Just in time for Halloween, a macabre guide book was released Thursday telling where dead celebrities are buried in France.

The latest Guide to Celebrity Tombstones spends 322 pages mapping 7,000 tombs of personalities from literature, cinema, theater, science, religion, sports, politics and military history.

"It's a little like my address book, but the addresses here are permanent," author Betrand Beyern said on France-Info radio.

"The book answers two questions: where is such and such a person buried ... and who is buried in my region, in my city or in the village where I like to spend my holidays."

Napoleon Bonaparte's tomb at Les Invalides monument in Paris is one of the most visited, he said.

Others are Le Pantheon, which houses Victor Hugo and Emile Zola, and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which honors French war dead.

Another popular site is the tomb of Jim Morrison, singer for the American rock band the Doors, who died in 1971, Beyern said. Morrison, who attended St. Petersburg Junior College in 1961-62 and lived with his grandparents in Clearwater, is buried at the Pere Lachaise cemetery in eastern Paris.

"In Paris, we often walk all over deceased celebrities without even realizing it," the Beyern said.

The grave of French satirist Francois Rabelais, who died in 1553, is under a popular store in the capital's central Marais district.

The guide also mentions celebrity animals' tombs, with perhaps the most famous being canine movie star Rin Tin Tin, a German shepherd buried outside Paris.

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