Return to list
There was only one way in or out of the Passy cemetery, and it had been built to impress. The burial ground itself dated from the 1820s, a time when Passy had been a quiet village outside the walls of the capital, but it had been given a new entrance in the 1930s. The gateway, flat-topped and perched on a latticework of square pillars and geometric grills, recalled the Art Deco movementís sense of angular style and Mussoliniís fondness for the monumental. There were three gates in all, one wide enough for a substantial hearse and two for mourners on foot. All were locked early in the evening in an attempt to ensure that no nocturnal footfalls disturbed the eternal rest of the cemeteryís inhabitants. Even by the standards of Parisian burial grounds, all of which could lay claim to a fair number of famous residents, the Passy cemetery, thanks to its proximity to the Champs Elysťes and the aristocratic sixteenth arrondissement, was particularly upmarket.