For years it was just an urban myth. Then the diggers moved in and found it was true – that the heart of a former mayor of the eastern Belgian city of Verviers really was buried under a fountain.
A small metal box, containing Pierre David’s heart in an ethanol-filled jar, was uncovered during renovation work on the city’s ornate stone fountain last month.
The relic is mentioned in civic documents, but until it was found “no one really believed it,” Verviers city councilor Maxime Degey told Reuters.
“Today the legend is no longer a legend. It’s a reality.”
David, the city’s first mayor after Belgium became an independent country, was still in office when he died in 1839 after falling from a building.
Read more: Reuters