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The Belgian urban legend about burying the mayor’s heart was TRUE

Urban legend that a former mayor’s HEART was buried in a Belgian city’s fountain turns out to be TRUE when restoration workers discover it

  • The first mayor’s heart of Verviers was discovered buried in a small black box
  • The municipality of Verviers posted an announcement describing the discovery
  • Pierre David was mayor of Verviers from 1798 until his death in 1839

The restoration of an old fountain has uncovered a box with the heart of a beloved mayor, confirming the truth of a long-rumored legend that the city had a real human heart at its core.

The coffin was found in the Fontaine David, on the Place Verte of the city of Verviers, in the East Belgian province of Liège.

The municipality of Verviers posted an announcement on their web page describing the discovery.

The box with the heart of former mayor Pierre David, pictured above, was found in the Fontaine David, on the Place Verte of the city of Verviers, in the East Belgian province of Liège.

The box with the heart of former mayor Pierre David, pictured above, was found in the Fontaine David, on the Place Verte of the city of Verviers, in the East Belgian province of Liège.

‘An astonishing discovery was made during the decommissioning and renovation work of the David Fountain (Place Verte),’ they wrote.

‘In a hollowed-out stone, a chest was found containing the heart of Pierre David, the first mayor of Verviers in independent Belgium.’

Verviers Councilor for Public Works, Maxime Degey, said the box had been found by the builders on August 20 and was “in really pristine condition.”

Fountaine David in Verviers where the box was discovered. Verviers Councilor for Public Works, Maxime Degey, said the box was found by construction workers on August 20 and was “in truly pristine condition.”

David was mayor of Verviers from 1798 until his death in 1839.

David ruled the city during various regimes and, after the revolution of 1830, ensured that peace returned to the city, including ensuring that Verviers had its own fire brigade and secondary school.

David died unexpectedly in 1839 at the age of 58, and local authorities reportedly decided to keep his heart.

A painting by Pierre David, mayor of Verviers from 1798 until his death in 1839

A painting by Pierre David, mayor of Verviers from 1798 until his death in 1839

A painting by Pierre David, mayor of Verviers from 1798 until his death in 1839

According to various 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 will be on display for visitors.

The small black box, which has not been opened, is now part of an exhibition on the first floor of the Museum of Fine Arts in the Renierstraat in a space specially designed in memory of the first mayor of the city, which also contains documents from the municipal archives.

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