Dani's funeral: tears and thousands of roses for the last tribute to the Perpignan artist

Dani’s funeral: tears and thousands of roses for the last tribute to the Perpignan artist

Carried in a deeply collected silence, the coffin of the artist draped in a shroud of white lace, came out this Wednesday, July 26, from the Saint Jean-Baptiste cathedral in Perpignan, to thunderous applause.

And Dani is gone. Under a blazing sun which struck down the square of the Saint-Jean cathedral in Perpignan, this Wednesday, July 26, this square so loved by the idol of the sixties, his early fans would not have missed for anything in the world to come tell her all their love one last time. In a final goodbye full of nostalgia.

Before 1 p.m. the clock strikes groups of gray-haired women and men are already waiting for the doors of the cathedral to open. “It’s all our youth who are there, a whole grieving generation”, whisper in a high tone two little grannies dressed in black, looking for an impossible corner of shade to shelter themselves.

Very quickly joined by a crowd of anonymous people, they stick to the entrance of the building, just to be sure, like other sixty-year-olds in the city, to bow to “the friend of ‘childhood’ Dani, whose black and white portraits, dotted with flowers, litter the steps of the altar.

Personalities and transgenerational crowd

An hour and a half later, the death knell resounds to the rhythm of sobs which flow like so many petals of tears. The funeral procession has arrived. Followed by Dani’s family, her sister Véronique, her sons, her grandchildren, nieces and nephews, cousins, cousins…

The Ave Maria resounds in the crowded cathedral. To the relatives of the disappeared are added the intimate ones. Françoise Quinta who unfortunately murmurs ready to offer herself “the luxury of having a depression with my late friend”.

Gérard and Manu Lanvin, Cali, Jo Maso, Anthony Delon, Mathilde Seigner, Émilie Marsh, Jean-Marie Périer… They mingle with a now transgenerational crowd of more than 3,000 people to finally take their place in the front row.

Father Joël Marie presides over the religious ceremony with a first thought for the little girl from Perpignan “who had her first communion on May 22, 1952 in this parish where she came to pray”. And where Bishop Monsignor Norbert Turini also wanted to transmit a moving message in memory of the iconic Dani.Father Joseph Marti, a man of the Church and culture, who has long rubbed shoulders with Dani with “fidelity and discretion”, joins the tribute and reads it.

Burial in the strictest privacy

The time of contemplation, the word returns to prayers, to a text of the Gospel, to a passage from The night does not last, the autobiography signed by Dani. Then to the words of love of her sister Véronique who evokes “a multi-faceted artist who always knew how to put a poetry and a love that belonged only to her”.

About his sons Emmanuel and Julien who have “unconditional and incandescent love” for him. To the letters of her grandchildren who, united by tears, describe a “rock’n’roll granny”, “a star that shines even brighter in the sky. Mum, granny, aunt Dani, as you liked to say: kisses and love. Forever”, conclude his bereaved loved ones.

On the scent of incense, a Lou Reed on CD sings the first notes of his title Perfect Day. Chosen by the family for the last moments of a poignant farewell. Not national or bombastic, but sober and moving.

Until the thunder of applause that greeted Dani’s coffin as it left the cathedral. Destination the family vault of the Saint-Martin cemetery where the beautiful and great lady with booms and bangs was buried in the strictest privacy.


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