Cracking the Da Vinci Code
Paris. Jacques Saunière has been found in the Louvre Museum: naked, dead, his body arranged in the form of a pentagram. But who killed the famous curator, and why? Welcome to The Da Vinci Code.
Dan Brown’s thriller races from the Église Saint-Sulpice in Paris to London’s Westminster Abbey and on to Rosslyn Chapel near Edinburgh (see page 35). The book brings together a handsome Harvard professor, a beautiful French detective, an English aristocrat and a psychopathic albino monk. Using clues hidden in Leonardo da Vinci’s paintings, the four try to find the Holy Grail and so the secrets of Christianity.
The Da Vinci Code has sold more than 40 million copies and has been translated into 44 languages. On 17 May, the film version — with Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou and Jean Reno — will open the Cannes Film Festival.
The secretive Catholic organization Opus Dei, the mysterious Priory of Sion and the Knights Templar are also part of The Da Vinci Code, connected in an alleged plot by the Roman Catholic Church to kill the descendants of Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene. That’s right: Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene got married, had children and almost lived happily ever after. But back then, as now, Palestine was a dangerous place, so the "Christs" fled to southern France. The Riviera town of Cannes did not exist at the time, but the family was safe. Powerful friends protected them from the Vatican, which wanted a celibate, male-run church. And the family has been protecting the Christ-Magdalene bloodline ever since –– or so the story goes.