Saturday, August 27, 2005

Mozart's head gone in wax museum theft


Salzburg, Austria, has many museums that feature Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who was born in that city. A life-size wax figure of Mozart displayed as part of the "Next to Mozart" multimedia collection, though, is currently without its head, according to reports from the Salzburger Fenster.

Only the head was taken from the figure, which was displayed on the fourth floor. The original wax-work is a unique piece, and the stolen head is valued at over $18,000. The theft occurred sometime between when the museum was closed last night and when it opened this morning at 9 AM, when the loss was discovered.

Composer's heads are a valuable commodity. Haydn's head was stolen from his corpse before burial for phrenology studies. It wasn't returned to his grave until the 1950s. The skull of Mozart was removed from his pauper's grave (again, by a phrenologist). Mozart's skull resides on a private shelf in the "Mozarteum" in Salzburg.

It is doubtful if modern-day phreonologists are behind this theft, however. The stolen head may closely reproduce Mozart's likeness, but until a wax artist is able to borrow the skull from Mozarteum director Roland Hass, Mozart's identifying skull-bumps remain safely behind closed doors.


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