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EU-Switzerland-Prost 03-09

Prostitute buried near Calvin

A well-known prostitute who campaigned for the rights and dignity of sex workers was given an honored place of rest on Monday, in the same cemetery where Protestantism’s John Calvin is buried, and some women activists criticized the decision.

Griselidis Real, who died in 2005, was buried in the presence of 200 people at the Cemetery of the Kings, which is reserved for individuals that have profoundly marked Swiss or international history. Argentinian writer Jose Luis Borges and child psychologist Jean Piaget are among the luminaries interred there.

The body of Real, who was 76 when she died only 10 years after she is said to have given up prostitution, was exhumed from another cemetery in Geneva for the ceremony that some — particularly women — have called offensive.

"If every woman that had children to raise alone turned to prostitution, the city of Geneva would be a bordello," said Amelia Christinat, a feminist and former member of the Swiss parliament who opposed Real’s reburial.

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