Row over Swiss prostitute buried next to Calvin

Posted : Tue, 10 Mar 2009 09:11:57 GMT
Author : DPA

Geneva – A Swiss prostitute and sex worker campaigner has been buried in a plot next to John Calvin in Geneva’s famous Cemetery of the Kings, Swiss media reported Tuesday. Griselidis Real, who died in 2005, rose to fame in Switzerland after she formed a charity in the 1970s to help both male and female prostitutes, after a long career as a sex worker herself.

“A writer, painter and prostitute,” is proudly written on her tomb.

The decision to rebury her body at Geneva’s most prestigious graveyard has not been without critics, however.

An official from the canton said the decision to move the body to the cemetery was not an approval of the ancient profession but a recognition of her contributions to the region.

Those who opposed the move said it was improper for a Christian writer like Calvin to be buried next to a prostitute.

Real was born in 1929 in Lausanne, had four children and claimed she only stopped her job as a sex worker at the age of 66. Real also wrote a series of books about her profession.

Besides Calvin, the Protestant Reformer, Real shares her new place of rest with dignitaries such as Argentinian writer Jose Luis Borges, child psychologist Jean Piaget and Sergio Viera de Mello, the United Nations representative to Iraq, who was killed in 2003.

The reburial of Real, one of the few women to be laid to rest at the kings’ cemetery, was attended by about 200 people.

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Link to story on Earth Times

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