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The Anonymous Corpse that Helps Save Millions of Lives

The Anonymous Corpse that Helps Save Millions of Lives

By Gilles Messier

And in the 1960s she gained a new lease on life, her likeness helping to save the lives of millions of people. This is the story of the strange afterlife of L’Inconnue de la Seine – the unknown body of the Seine. One day in the 1880s the body of a young woman was pulled from the River Seine near the Quai du Louvre in Paris. Days passed, and no-one identified or claimed the woman’s corpse, and she was prepared for burial in a common grave. But whether anonymous corpse or anonymous model, the legend of L’Inconnue persisted until the late 1950s, when her curious afterlife took a rather unexpected turn.