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Wednesday, 20 March, 2002, 10:02 GMT
Dumas gets French honour
The Musketeer
The Musketeer gives the Dumas classic a twist
The ashes of the author behind The Three Musketeers, Alexandre Dumas, are to be transferred to the Pantheon in Paris.

Dumas' remains are currently in his home village of Villers-Cotterets but are to be moved to France's most famous mausoleum.

French president Jacques Chirac said a date had not been set for the transfer to the monument.

Dumas wrote 80 books before his death in 1870 and some of his other famous works included The Count of Monte Cristo and The Man In The Iron Mask.

Jacques Chirac to honour Dumas
Jacques Chirac to honour Dumas
Chirac said his country deserves to honour Dumas.

He said: "Dumas was the most popular of the Romantics.

"He remains one of the most-read French writers in the world. It is right that our country gives him his due.

"That is why I have decided to transfer his ashes to the Pantheon."

The Pantheon is a huge dome whose entry is framed with pillars in a classical Greek style.

Those interred within are some of the country's top luminaries including Voltaire, Victor Hugo, Marie Curie and Emile Zola.

Dumas was born in 1802 and moved to Paris when he was 20.

He became interested in theatre and he started writing for smaller magazines, before he moved onto scripts for plays.

Adventure

Dumas then started working on his many novels and he was never afraid to work with other contributors or rewrite older stories.

His life was almost as adventurous as one of the heroes in his books.

He became a captain in the National Guard in the 1830s, married his mistress and supported Italy's struggle for independence between 1860 and 1864.

He died of a stroke in 1870.

His works have been made into numerous films over the years and recently a new version of the Count of Monte Cristo, starring Guy Pearce, was recently released in the US.

Last year a new version of The Three Musketeers, called The Musketeer and starred Tim Roth, topped the US box office charts.

See also:

10 Sep 01 | Film
Musketeer tops US movie chart
06 Mar 01 | Europe
President gets personal
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