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Death Not Allowed in France

Forwarding along from our good friends at Artforum.


Death is ... unpopular in the village of Pau, France. According to Agence France-Presse, the mayor of Pau has taken a rather different approach: issuing a decree that bans residents from dying in the village unless they have reserved a spot in the cemetery. "It is forbidden for any person not having a plot in the cemetery […] to die on the territory of the village," said mayor Gérard Lalanne, adding that there would be a "severe punishment" for offenders. "The first dead person to come along, I'll send him to the state's representative," he said.

According to AFP, the extreme measure stems from a shortage of space in the cemetery of the village, which has 260 residents. With his decree, Mayor Lalanne hopes to fight a legal ruling that prevents the current cemetery from being enlarged. A precedent was set in another French village, Cugnaux, where the cemetery was expanded only after that town's mayor also outlawed death.