Belgian City Finds Former Mayor's Heart Inside a Fountain

For years it was rumored that a former mayor of Verviers, Belgium, Pierre David, had his heart entombed in a box and buried inside a fountain. No one really thought this to be true, until one day during a typical renovation project...

Pierre David's heart was in fact found inside a small metal box containing an ethanol-filled jar. It was uncovered during routine renovation work on one of the city's ornate fountains. While the box had been mentioned in civic documents, "No one really believed it," according to city councillor Maxime Degey.

"Today the legend is no longer legend. It's a reality," she went on. David was the city's first mayor after Belgium became an independent country. He was still in office after he died in 1839 when he fell from a building. The fountain was built in his honor, and his family gave the city permission to place his heart underneath it in 1883. Now, the box is on display at the Verviers Museum of Fine Arts and Ceramics, and will be returned once the fountain is completed.

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