In fact, the official designation of 1985 as the "Year of [Victor Hugo]" by a Socialist government strikes some French conservatives as self-serving. They suspect that the Socialists intend to improve their own image by associating themselves with Victor Hugo.
[Jean-Pierre Thibaudat] insisted that the French know Hugo less these days by reading his works than by seeing them adapted for the stage or the movies or songs. "We read Gustave Flaubert," he said, "but we adapt Hugo."
Hugo's body lay in state under the Arch of Triumph. Perhaps 2 million people then followed the cortege more than seven hours across town to Hugo's burial in a tomb of the Pantheon.