Posted on September 10, 2020 at 10:12 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

The next time you visit Paris, there may be some new faces (so to speak) in the Pantheon.

Agence France-Presse reports that a coalition of French celebrities — including artists, intellectuals, and politicians — wants poets Arthur Rimbaud and Paul Verlaine to be exhumed and reinterred in the Pantheon, along with their country’s other literary celebrities and other famous figures.

French President Emmanuel Macron has sole authority to allow any moves into the Pantheon; his culture minister told AFP that she supports the request but that she hasn’t signed the group's official petition.

Verlaine was an innovator in the art of modern word-music, marking a transition from the Romantic poets to the Symbolists; his poem Chanson d'automne endures to this day, partly because it was used as a code message during World War II.

Rimbaud, too, was prominent in the Symbolism movement and significantly influenced modern poetry, with his collection Illuminations marking the peak of his originality.

The pair, though, are also known for their love affair, which ended with Verlaine shooting Rimbaud (not fatally) and being imprisoned.

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