In "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," Victor Hugo told the tale of Esmerelda, a gypsy dancer falsely accused of attempted murder, set to be hanged by an unjust state. Quasimodo, the titular hunchback, swings down from the cathedral of Notre Dame and saves her, carrying her off while crying "Sanctuary!" In fact, throughout European history, churches provided places of safe haven for accused criminals; the claim of "sanctuary" is made to this day by people seeking refuge from the law.
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