||[Dec. 17th, 2010|11:48 am]
|||||Nothing To Lose||]|
Wikipedia teaches me the most interesting things. I never even knew Henry IV's head was missing...
" The head of his embalmed body was lost after revolutionaries ransacked the Basilica of St Denis and desecrated his grave in 1793. An embalmed head, reputed to be that of Henry IV, has passed between private collectors since. The French journalist Stephane Gabet followed leads to track down the head in the attic of a retired tax collector, Jacques Bellanger, in January 2010. According to Gabet, a couple purchased the head at a Paris auction in the early 1900s, and Bellanger bought it from the wife in 1955. It was confirmed by a multidisciplinary team led by Philippe Charlier, a forensic medical examiner at Raymond Poincare University Hospital in Garches, to be the lost head of Henry IV using a combination of anthropological, paleopathological, radiological and forensic techniques in 2010. The head had a light brown colour, in excellent preservation. A lesion just above the nostril, a hole in the right ear lobe indicating a long-term use of an earring, and a healed facial wound, which Henry IV would have got from the assassination attempt, were among the marks that identified the head. Radiocarbon dating gave a date of between 1450 and 1650, which fits the year of Henry IV's death, 1610. However, the team was not able to recover uncontaminated mitochondrial DNA sequences from the head, so no comparison was possible with other remains from the king and his descendants. The head will be reinterred in the Basilica of St Denis after a national mass and funeral in 2011."
And is a national mass and funeral really necessary? I mean he's been gone awhile...
Oh, and a caption contest.