Moby Lives

Inside a horse, it's too dark to read . . .

November 23, 2004
Penny Johnson

“French scientists and historians are trying to unravel the secrets behind a cache of documents hidden nearly two centuries ago inside one of Paris’s best-known equestrian statues,” reports an Agence France Press wire story. “The documents were found when the bronze statue of King Henri IV on the Pont-Neuf bridge by the Ile-de-la-Cite was dismantled for renovation.” The original statue was destroyed during the French Revolution, then restored from the original cast by order of Louis XVIII after the overthrow of Napoleon. The theory is that a disgruntled follower of Napoleon working on the restoration “secreted tracts extolling his hero and denouncing the monarcy.” The documents were found in cylinders “in the horse’s foot, in the king’s arm and in his head.” Specialists say it will take a while to unwrap and decipher them.

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Penny Johnson is the author of Companions in Conflict, published by Melville House in February 2019
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