EFEBy Maria D. Valderrama Paris

French playwright Molière defied the censorship of the Church and carved himself a central role in Louis XIV’s court with his raucous comedies, but despite being an icon of French culture, not much is known of the artist who was born 400 years ago.

There are many gaps in Molière's biography.

But it is also the artist’s mysterious aura that cultivated an almost cultish following.

Ahead of presidential elections, a debate on whether Molière should be moved from the Parisian Père Lachaise cemetery to the Pantheon has grabbed headlines.

Valérie Pécresse has pushed for the playwright’s inclusion in the French monument but the Elysee, the seat of the French Presidency, has rejected her call, arguing that only post-Enlightenment figures can enter the Pantheon.