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Cemeteries get hooked up to the Net

Surfers get chance to mourn en masse

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Surfers too busy or far away to make that all-important funeral will soon be able to mourn en masse via cyberspace.

From next month, the bereaved will get to watch their loved ones' burials in the Americas and Europe by simply logging onto www.vidaperpetua.com.br (Perpetual Life).

The site's owners claim to have gained the approval of 50 of the 200 private cemeteries scattered through Brazil, as well as some in Spain, Mexico and Argentina, to hook up cameras and transmit the goings-on via the Net. They are currently waiting to get the thumbs up from the US and Italy.

"The idea is to perpetuate the lives of people. After all, the only thing that truly lives on for eternity is the cemetery," observed site founder Pepe Alstut.

"We'll have cameras installed in the cemeteries that can film any moment of the event the family requests," he told Reuters.

The cost of the service was not revealed, though Alstut is also hoping to cash in on the online flowers and condolence cards businesses. In addition, the bereaved will be able to rent spaces on the site for 12 reais ($6) a month - which can be used to post pictures of the departed, or to keep videos of birthdays, births or funerals.

This is not Argentina-born Alstut's first venture into the funeral industry. He also owns a 14-story cemetery in Santos, Brazil - featured in the Guinness Book of Records as the world's tallest vertical burial ground. ®

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