Sarkozy Faces Opposition to Plan to Rebury Albert Camus in the Pantheon
French President Nicolas Sarkozy is determined to move
the remains of Nobel Laureate Albert Camus to an honored resting ground, but he has reached a roadblock. Camus' son is just as determined that his father's resting place not be moved.
Camus's son, Jean, says interring his father's remains at the Pantheon, the Paris monument to some of the great men and women of France, would be contrary to his father's wishes and does not want to have his legacy put to work in the service of the state, Le Monde quoted an unidentified intimate of Mr. Camus's as saying.
Jean Camus's sister, Catherine Camus, who manages her father's estate, is prepared to give her approval and has spoken with Mr. Sarkozy on the subject, Le Monde said.
Mr. Sarkozy has said little publicly on the subject, but he noted last week that he had "been in touch with the family members," adding: "I need their agreement."
"No decision has been made on the Pantheonization," a spokeswoman for the Elysee Palace said, declining to comment further.
The proposal has become a political issue in France, with the left accusing Mr. Sarkozy of trying to lift his fortunes by association with one of the secular saints of modern France. The president is limping along with a 60 percent disapproval rating, according to a Nov. 9 Ipsos poll for the newsmagazine Le Point.
Albert Camus is currently buried in the cemetery of Lourmarin, in the Luberon area of Provence. Camus died at the age of 46 in 1960, from injuries sustained in a car accident.