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Eternal rest? Some restrictions may apply.

24 September 2019

Porfirio Díaz died 2 June 1915 in a Paris hotel. At the time, it still was not clear who would consolidate the Revolution, and how whatever state emerged would view the late dictator.  His widow, Carmen Rubio, planted her late husband  in a local churchyard.  With the Revolution pretty much settled by 1920, Doña Carmen decided to return to Mexico.  She was welcome to return as a private citizen, but could hardly expect a dead hero’s welcome for Don Porfirio. And, besides,  lugging a corpse around — as Juan Peron was to discover with Eva (who had three or four burials, a corpse-nabbing or two, and was in the back room of a union hall for a couple of years, not to mention a stay in Peron’s living room during his Spanish exile) — does complicate travel plans.  So… in 1921. having decided that Montparnasse Cemetery had the right cachet for a dead dictator (though what fellow resident Charles Baudelaire would have thought I can’t say) and built the mausoleum still visited by those mourning the 19th century’s “essential man”.

For now, anyway.  Perpetual rest doesn’t mean forever… it means 99 years.  Porfirio may have expired back in 1915, but his burial site’s lease expires next year.

There has been some talk (mostly just talk) of moving the body (or… whatever is left of it) back to Mexico, but so far, just talk. His descendants, which incidentally include Prince Albert of Monaco, could renew the lease.   Or, have his bones cremated and pressed into an artificial diamond… or sot into space.. or….

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