In 1793, the National Convention of France ordered the destruction of the ancient royal tombs at St-Denis as a punishment for the vanity of the deposed "tyrants" and to erase their memory. The Bourbon kings were buried in a vault in the crypt, called the Bourbon vault, in lead coffins without any sculpted image. The tombs were desecrated throughout January 1794, with the most damage done in October. The embalmed bodies of 46 kings and 32 queens, along with their children and even some servants, were removed from their final resting places. The coffins were opened and all valuables inside were taken. Hubert Robert, a French painter known for his imaginary landscapes and ruins, painted a picture of the violation of the tombs of the kings in the Basilica of Saint-Denis in late 1793, during the French Revolution. The painting shows the desecration of the royal tombs, with the coffins opened and the bodies exposed. The painting is now on display at the Musee Carnavalet in Paris.

This image is in the public domain.

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