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Albert Camus reburial plans criticised

23rd November 2009

French president Nicolas Sarkozy has been criticised over plans to move the remains of Albert Camus.

Last week, Mr Sarkozy said that it would be a 'wonderful symbol' to bury the author of The Outsider in the French Pantheon, where many of the country's heroes lie, on the 50th anniversary of his death.

The necropolis, which is found on the Left Bank of Paris, is the resting place of several prestigious French authors, including Alexandre Dumas, Emile Zola and Voltaire.

The proposal has sparked attacks from France's literary elite, who claim that it is little more than a PR stunt and something Camus himself would have disapproved of.

Olivier Todd, a Camus biographer, said the 'gimmick' is an attempt by the president to benefit from some 'intellectual glitter'.

'It's part of [Sarkozy's] technique of hijacking the intellectual milieu. It flies absolutely in the face of everything that Camus stood for,' Todd commented.

French newspaper Le Monde also reports that Jean Camus, one of the writer's children, is opposed to the plan as he believes it would be against his father's wishes.

Camus is one of France's most esteemed 20th-century writers and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957.

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