This confirms a century-old urban legend.
On August 20, workers renovating Fontaine David in Verviers, east of Liége in Belgium found the entombed heart of the city’s first-ever ‘bourgmestre’ or mayor.
Inadvertently confirming a century-old Waloon urban legend, they recovered a rusted, metal coffin with these words inscribed on it:
In an article published by Euronews, we read that officials decided not to open the box ‘out of respect for the deceased and his family.’
Pierre David became Verviers’ first mayor in 1800 and served until 1808 when France ruled Belgium. In 1802, he founded the first firefighter corps– a rare innovation at that time, BBC reported.
Legend says that the city officials decided to take his heart–with consent from his family–when he died in 1839. They kept it in the town hall while authorities collected funds to build him a monument. Decades passed before they were able to collect enough money for it.
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