The Daily Mail ran a story about the history of pryamid-shaped mausoleum building in modern times, noting that actor Nicholas Cage has had one built for himself in New Orleans. Not surprisingly, the vogue for this sort of funerary monument coincides with the occult revival and the Egyptomania craze that swept the UK and U.S. at roughly the same time, Egyptomania being the more popular manifestation of the interest in the mysteries of ancient Egyptian culture and religious doctrine that was coming to light at the time. In part the piece reads:
“What launched the mausoleum movement was the death of Prince Albert in 1861. Queen Victoria’s immediate response to memorialize her husband rubbed off on everyone else.
“‘She started building monuments to Albert and so people said: “Well, I guess that’s what we’ve got to do:… You know, the moneyed people, they follow what other moneyed people do,’ [author and funerary authority, Douglas] Keister told DailyMail.com.
‘Egypt had also become popular after Napoleon attempted to invade the country in the early 19th century, so buildings – and mausoleums – were designed after Egyptian architecture.
“‘All architecture in Egypt has something to do with death and the afterlife, so it’s a perfect fit for cemeteries, but it’s kind of an ironic fit because most cemeteries lean towards the religious… and Egyptian architecture is so pagan. But it’s all funerary,’ Keister said.” “Cemeteries lean towards the religious…and Egyptian architecture is so pagan.”????? Pagans aren’t religious? OH! he means cemeteries are “Christian”! Guess this dude’s never been to a Jewish burial ground or the Qarafa, el-Arafa necropolis in Cairo or, ummm, the Valley of The Kings?
One thought occurs to me – how many old gravesites did this cemetery have to either excavate or pave over to make room for Cage’s sprawling crypt?
Thanks to Soror Amy for the tip!