“The dead deserve better than that”: in this Nice cemetery, the weeds left by the city shock the loved ones of the deceased

“The dead deserve better than that”: in this Nice cemetery, the weeds left by the city shock the loved ones of the deceased
“The dead deserve better than that”: in this Nice cemetery, the weeds left by the city shock the loved ones of the deceased

Bucolic or chaotic, everyone is free to judge. However, certain paths in the Caucade cemetery, west of Nice, are covered with wild grass and grass. “Disrespectful negligence”, for the families of the deceased. “Virtuous policy for the environment […] which involves letting nature develop as freely as possible.”according to the City of Nice.

“The grass ends up being knee-deep”

For the maintenance of its fifteen municipal necropolises, the latter has renounced pesticides since 2017, particularly glyphosate. These two irreconcilable visions regularly oppose each other. Especially in spring, when the first heat combined with bad weather causes greenery to proliferate.

“Every year, it’s the same thing. And nothing changes. Only the graves maintained by relatives remain presentable,” grumbles Jean-Louis. When he is not repainting the rusty arches decorating the family tomb, “the descendant of an old house in Nice”, draws a rake, pickaxe and broom. Here he goes to attack “the little jungle” which “invades and disturbs” the kingdom of the dead. “These people from Nice have worked all their lives for the development of the city. The dead deserve better than that. Because if I don’t do anything, the grass ends up reaching up to my knees. It’s already been seen,” plague the surrogate gardener.

But where are the real gardeners? They who, before, “were always present”. From the time when the cemetery was “impeccable”, as described by a reader who contacted Nice-Matin to alert about “the deterioration which saddens a good number of people”. Jean-Louis believes that there is “favorable treatment. The teams are mobilized as a priority at the Château cemetery.” The most prestigious. The most touristy. Up there, no weeds, no ivy climbing over the recumbent figures.

An accusation of favoritism which clashes with other explanations: “The Château cemetery is smaller with fewer green spaces to maintain and therefore less vegetation. Its maintenance requires the presence of only a technical agent”, contextualizes Monique Bailet delegated to the Nice West territory. The City also specifies that “it was notably decided, at the Caucade cemetery, to replace the gravel with the vegetation that grows naturally there”.

“Practical as an excuse to cover the lack of personnel”, tackles Jean-Louis. Who is not the only one to believe that there are fewer gardeners? A regular at the Caucade cemetery, requesting anonymity, is convinced “that there are only four gardeners left. Where there were still twenty two decades ago”.

“No, there are not fewer gardeners”

The elected official sweeps away: “No, the gardeners are not fewer in number. We still have the same number of agents: nineteen gardeners to which are added seventeen guards. All of these staff are distributed by sector and operate in rotation within all cemeteries. They carry out small maintenance work. Weeding services are mainly carried out by the company holding the contract.

The City therefore defends its results: “After an initial clearing carried out at the beginning of March, the operation was renewed twice in April, then will take place during June and very regularly until September.”

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