The restoration of an ancient fountain has uncovered a box containing the heart of a beloved city mayor, confirming the truth of a long-rumoured legend that the city had a real human heart at its core.
The box was found at the Fontaine David, in the Place Verte of the city of Verviers, in the eastern Belgian province of Liege.
The council of Verviers posted an announcement on their web page describing the discovery, writing: “During the dismantling and renovation work of the David fountain (Place Verte), an astonishing discovery was made.
“A box was found inside a hollowed-out stone containing the heart of Pierre David, first Mayor of Verviers in independent Belgium.”
According to national newspaper HLN, David was mayor of Verviers from 1798 until his death in 1839.
David governed the city during various regimes and after the revolution of 1830, made sure that peace returned to the city and achieved, among other things, that Verviers had its own fire brigade and secondary school.
David died unexpectedly in 1839 at 58 and the local authorities reportedly decided to keep his heart.
According to several historical accounts, the heart was kept in the town hall for 44 years until 1883, when it is said to have been buried in the heart of the city under the fountain.
The legend of the heart under the fountain has now been verified and it will be on display for visitors to come and see.
The little black box, which has not been opened, is now part of an exhibition on the first floor of the Museum of Fine Arts in Rue Renier in a space specially designed in memory of the city’s first mayor, which also includes documents from the municipal archives.
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Story By: Lisa-Maria Goertz, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
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