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Statue fenced off to protect groin

Published: 6:28PM Monday December 05, 2005 Source: AAP

Authorities at a Paris cemetery have fenced off a tomb of a romantic 19th century figure, fearing its statue is being damaged by female visitors rubbing its groin area.
The Pere Lachaise cemetery is the resting place of French journalist, Victor Noir - whose real name was Yvan Salman.
The tomb has long been popular with women visitors, because of his romantic reputation and the effigy's design, the BBC has reported.
As well as putting up a fence, officials have erected a sign prohibiting "indecent rubbing", the BBC reported on its website.
The statue depicts Noir lying flat on his back, with a distinct and worn enlargement in the groin.
The effigy has been held as an aid to love or fertility, the BBC said, adding that legend has it that a woman who kisses the lips of the prostrate statue and places a flower into his upturned top hat will find a husband by year's end.
Noir was killed in duel by Pierre Bonaparte, a great-nephew of the Emperor Napoleon. 
According to the story, Noir had been due to get married the day after he was killed.