It was Rene Levesque's decades-long quest to find the resting place in Quebec City of French explorer Samuel de Champlain. That quest ended last Sunday with Levesque's death at age 81.
[H]e began searching for Champlain's grave as a young Jesuit priest in the bone-lined basement of the old Basilica in 1950s, when the boom of his sledgehammer drew rebuke from senior priests because it disturbed confessions in the church above.Levesque thought he was close to discovering the grave several times, but each time came up empty. On one occasion he convinced a French television network to record for posterity the opening of Champlain's tomb.
With cameras rolling, Levesque knocked a hole in the basement wall on rue Buade and reached into the black cavity - only to pull out a bag of frozen stir-fry vegetables from the cold room in the Chinese restaurant next door.
"That seems appropriate," said Quebec City's chief archeologist, William Moss, who often dealt with Levesque's frequent demands for excavation permits. "Champlain was looking for a route to China." [Link]