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Blog » Creativity shouldn’t end at the gates of cemetery

For a nation that prides itself on creativity, New Zealand’s cemeteries are something of an embarrassment.  Row after row of slabs of marble or granite engraved with a few vital statistics may be okay for some of us (and we’re not knocking “simple elegance” – it has its place, and durability and weatherproofness are important features), but isn’t it time we livened it up a bit?  During a recent visit to Paris we visited the cemetery at Montparnasse, final resting place of French luminaries such as Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir and Charles Baudelaire, and found amongst the granite and marble mausoleums some amazing and quirky works of funerary art.  A happy pear-shaped cat made out of multicoloured mosaic tiles, beautiful pieces of stained glass, shiny steel sculptures with parts that move and chime in the breeze.  These “gravestones” bear witness to the vibrant personalities of those whose remains are there (or maybe to their wacky friends and families), and when you look at the dour slab of stone next door you are tempted to think, “I wouldn’t want to be seen dead in that!”  So, it’s a challenge to the nation that produced the Lord of the Rings movies and the World of Wearable Art – sure, the Taj Mahal is maybe outside of your budget, but let’s get creative!

See below for some photos from Montparnasse, and send in photographs of your most creative funerary art so we can post more.

Montparnasse bird 2

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