It is not always possible for dead people to rest peacefully in the Earth. You can recall the numerous mausoleums, where the bodies of the leaders are on display. And the believer reveres the saints and their relics. In history, there are many examples of how people for some reason steal parts of the body of the dead. For example, in 1793 during the French Revolution, the graves of the long-dead royalty were desecrated. Someone, in particular, needed the head of Henry IV. Most recently, the stolen part of the body was found. Collecting it, embalmed, passed on from generation to generation, from one collection of rare exhibits to another. Let’s talk about the other most famous stolen and lost parts of the human body. Maori heads.
To return 16 Maori warriors, indigenous inhabitants of the islands to New Zealand, a special permit was required from the French Parliament. After all, parts of the body of the Aborigines for a long time were part of the expositions of the museums of this particular country. As a result, it was only through a unanimous vote that the deputies succeeded in adopting an important decision for New Zealand. Dried and decorated with traditional tattooed warrior heads were part of the Maori-mokomokai culture. According to local traditions, after the death of a warrior, his head was cut off, eyes and brain were removed from it, and holes in the skull were laid with fibers or rubber. After that, this part of the body was boiled or steamed for a couple of days in a special oven. Then she was smoked on an open fire, and then another and dried in the sun for several days. To achieve full readiness, the head was also treated with shark liver fat. Finished heads, mokomokai, then stored in trimmed and carved boxes, from where they were taken only for carrying out sacred rituals. When the Europeans came to New Zealand, they began to buy from the natives their relics. At the beginning of the XIX century, trade was particularly brisk, the heads of the Indians were given firearms and cartridges. So Maori’s heads got to France, and New Zealand lost part of its history.
The relics of St. Nicholas.
In the Middle Ages, it was especially popular to worship the remains of saints. Millions of pilgrims walked to see the relics, touch them. People believed that they can work miracles. Such attention to the shrines brought a significant profit to the cities where they were stored. That is why there were many willing to get honest or not especially by part of the body of the saints. Thus, in 1087, the relics of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker were stolen, which were stored in the basilica in the city of Mira in the territory of Turkey. In those days, Muslims attempted Christian relics that were threatened with destruction. As a result, parts of the saint’s body were stolen by merchants from the Italian city of Bari, who transferred the relics to themselves. Since then, the day of the transfer of relics is celebrated in Bari itself by a festival and fireworks, as well as in the Orthodox Church. It should be noted that the Italians did not take all parts of Nicholas’s body, so some remained in the basilica on the territory of Turkey.
Skull of Geronimo.
Geronimo was the head of the Chirikawa-Apache Indian army, for 25 years he headed the forces that fought against the invasion of the lands of the Aboriginal Europeans. However, the struggle was unequal, and in 1886 Geronimo surrendered to the troops of the American army. The name of the famous Indian became a symbol of courage and indifference to death. However, the legendary leader evoked interest in his person after his death. In 1909, Jeronimo’s skull was dug by members of the secret society “Bones and Skull” of Yale University as a gift to his brotherhood. Among the three student intruders was Prescott Bush, the father of the 41st and grandfather of 43 US Presidents. It is rumored that the leader’s skull is now in a secret place on the territory of Yale University and is used in secret rituals of the famous secret society. Learning about this, the descendant of the legendary leader and 19 other Indians sued the government of the country, also filing a lawsuit and to an elite educational institution.They demanded to return the stolen remains of their great ancestor and fellow tribesman.
Heart of Anne Boleyn.
For Catholic traditional England, it was a shock when King Henry VIII suddenly divorced his wife, Catherine of Aragon, and married the elegant and intelligent Anne Boleyn. Heinrich very much wanted an heir, and his new queen, after several unsuccessful attempts, was able to give birth only to his daughter, the future Queen Elizabeth the First. The king openly accused Anna of constant intrigues, of treason, both to him personally and to the state. As a result, Anna, on the orders of the king, was arrested and executed. The sentence was carried out in the Tower in 1536. Henry ordered that from the breast of Anna Boleyn wrenched out the heart. This part of the body was placed in a casket of the same form and deposited in the church in Suffolk. However, in 1836, 300 years after the execution of Anna, her heart was taken from the vault and reburied under the ecclesiastical authority.
Brain of Benito Mussolini.
The great dictator had his brain removed for purely scientific purposes. After the death of the Duce, Americans took away part of the body to understand how a person can become a dictator. However, 21 years after the execution of the ruler of Italy, his brain was returned to the widow. And 43 years after those events a new scandal erupted, connected with the remains of the famous ruler. His granddaughter, Alexandra Mussolini, said that someone was trying to sell at the auction eBay body parts duce for 15 thousand euros. On the site, even for a while, a photograph of the parts of the brain and Benito’s blood samples hovered. There were even some documents proving the authenticity of the remains. However, the lot was quickly withdrawn from sale even before placing bets on it.
Men’s dignity of Napoleon.
The interest in the great commander was so great that even his frail body was subjected to speculation. It turned out that at the autopsy of the deceased Napoleon the doctor could not resist the temptation and cut off his penis, then giving it to a priest from Corsica. In 1977, this intimate part of Bonaparte’s body was bought for 3 thousand dollars by one urologist from New Jersey. For 30 years he kept his precious purchase under the bed, until after his death the penis of Napoleon passed over the legacy of his daughter. During this time, the artifact appreciably grew in price, now there were already willing to pay 100 thousand dollars for it.
Remains of Thomas Payne.
Thomas Payne was a prominent American writer and philosopher, even considered the godfather of the United States. However, his life was such that the publicist last years began to drink and died as a result of poverty in New York. Ten years after Payne’s death, his body was exhumed by William Cobbett, a fan of the writer’s work. The remains of the philosopher were sent to England, where it was supposed to erect even a memorial in honor of the publicist. Unfortunately, Cobbett was never able to raise the right amount for the erection of the monument. The remains of Paine lay in a trunk in the attic of an unlucky admirer until his death. What happened next with the body parts of the writer remains a mystery. They said that they made buttons from them. True, in the late 1930s, there was a resident of Brighton who claimed to keep Payne’s jaw.
Finger of Francis Xavier.
Famous Christian missionary Francis Xavier, with the enlightenment purpose of spreading the Gospel, traveled half a land. He visited France and Italy, Japan, India, Malaysia and Ceylon. But before China Xavier did not reach, having died on the way. When, in a few months, the preacher’s body was dug up by the Christians, it turned out that the decay did not touch the deceased. The believers immediately declared Francis saint, and his remains were transported with Christian missions around the world. But when Xavier was shown in India, one woman cut off the holy finger on her leg. Witnesses claimed that blood was bleeding from the wound. Today in the cathedral in the silver coffin the body of Xavier rests, and parts of his hands are in Italy and Japan.Head of King Bad Bonsu II.
In 1838, an extraordinary event occurred on the territory of Ghana – Badu Bonsu II, the leader of the Ashanti tribe who lived in the territory of present Ghana, killed two Dutchmen, and decorated their throne with their heads. However, the tribesmen issued a bloody ruler to the angry Europeans, the same year Bonsu was executed. But what happened to his head for a century and a half remained a mystery. Unexpectedly, this part of the body was found in a jar with formalin in one of the Dutch museums. Then the government of Ghana asked to return the head of his prominent countryman to his homeland. In 2009, representatives of the Ashanti tribe visited The Hague, where they received the lost head of Bonsu II.
In the beginning of the XIX century, Europeans were taken during a safari in Africa to take along a taxi operator. This specialist for making stuffed animals could come in handy if you could shoot a lion or a rhinoceros. In 1820, a real revolution took place in taxidermy – two French specialists were able to make a scarecrow from an African corpse found in the Kalahari Desert. His body was treated in such a way that the skin seemed darker. After embalming the corpse, he was put on public display in Egypt. Then the mummy got to the Spanish town of Bagnoles, where she stayed at the local museum until 1992. The fact is that one doctor from Haiti expressed his dissatisfaction with this treatment of the human body. The whole city was divided into two camps. Some residents believed that the body deserves to be buried, while others wanted to leave the mummy as a city property. After a heated debate in 2000, the mummy was transferred to Botswana, where it was honored and betrayed to the ground.