|The First Art Newspaper on the Net
||Established in 1996
|| Tuesday, March 28, 2017
|European Journal of Human Genetics: Science robs French King Henri IV of his head |
Prince Sixte Henri de Bourbon Parme (R), a descendant of King Louis XVI, whose DNA samples were collected for identification, stands beside Professor Philippe Delorme during a press conference presenting results from scientific research on a mummified head allegedly attributed to King Henri IV on October 9, 2013 in Saint-Denis, North of Paris. Scientists revealed genetic data on October 9, 2013 they said disproved the authenticity of macabre relics attributed to two French kings: a rag dipped in Louis XVI's blood and Henri IV's mummified head. AFP PHOTO / FRANCOIS GUILLOT.
By: Véronique Martinache
PARIS (AFP).- Scientists revealed genetic data Wednesday they said disproved the authenticity of macabre relics attributed to two French kings: a rag dipped in Louis XVI's blood and Henri IV's mummified head.
A DNA analysis of three living relatives of the Bourbon kings found no link with genetic traces from the grisly souvenirs, according to a study in the European Journal of Human Genetics.
"It is not the blood of Louis XVI," co-author Jean-Jacques Cassiman, a Belgian geneticist, told AFP of the handkerchief allegedly dipped in the blood of the king guillotined by revolutionaries in Paris on January 21, 1793, and kept in an ornately-decorated calabash since then.
This also broke the genetic link drawn by other researchers between the bloody rag and a mummified head said to belong to Louis' 16th century predecessor Henri IV -- assassinated at the age of 57 by a Catholic fanatic in 1610.
The revolution in which Louis and queen Marie-Antoinette lost their heads in public executions, also saw mobs ransack the royal chapel at Saint-Denis, north of Paris -- hauling ancient monarchs like Henri from their tombs and mutilating the remains which they tossed into pits.
An individual was recorded to have rescued a severed head, long thought to belong to Henri, from the chaos.
The head changed hands several times over the next two centuries, bought and sold at auction or kept in private collections.
In 2010, a team of scientists said the had found proof that the head was indeed Henri's -- citing physical features that matched 16th century portraits of the king as well as data from radiocarbon dating, 3D scanning and X-rays.
However, the team led by French forensic pathologist Philippe Charlier found no DNA and the findings were contested.
Last year, Charlier and Spanish palaeogeneticist Carles Lalueza-Fox published another study which claimed to have found a DNA link between the head and the bloody handkerchief, which had been kept in a gourd adorned with portraits of revolutionary heroes and the text: "On January 21, Maximilien Bourdaloue dipped his handkerchief in the blood of Louis XVI after his decapitation".
The dried squash had been in the private hands of an Italian family for more than a century.
Three years ago, analysis of DNA taken from traces found inside the ornate vegetable revealed a likely match for someone of Louis' description.
But not having the DNA of any kingly relation, researchers could not prove beyond doubt that the blood belonged to Louis -- until Charlier and Lalueza-Fox announced last year they had managed to salvage some genetic material from the head and show a genetic link between two men separated by seven generations.
The new study challenges that finding.
Cassiman and his team tested the DNA of three Bourbon descendants of Henri IV's son Louis XIII, who lived from 1601 to 1643.
The three were Axel of Bourbon-Parma (born in 1968), his cousin Sixte-Henri of Bourbon-Parma (born 1940) and Joao of Orleans-Braganza.
"Sixte-Henri, Axel and Joao have the same Y chromosome", replicated through the male line from Louis XIII downward, said Cassiman.
This "true" Bourbon variant did not match the DNA found in the two relics.
Charlier responded that drawing up a Bourbon genetic family tree is fraught, given uncertainty about the paternity of several kings.
He said his own study had found 23 "morphological arguments," both anthropological and historical, "to allow authentication of the head as belonging to Henri IV beyond reasonable doubt" -- which had in turn allowed drawing a genetic link with the blood.
© 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse
October 10, 2013
Exhibition of paintings by Lucian Freud opens at Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
Geeorge Washington's original Thanksgiving proclamation to be sold at Christie's
Bullets bounced off Ned Kelly 'like hail', letter donated to the State Library of Victoria says
Hidden sea discovered in portrait reveals Walter Ralegh's secret desire for Elizabeth I
Albanian police seize over 1,000 stolen pieces of art; Two people were arrested
Ring which sealed the love between Pre-Raphaelites Holman Hunt and Millais for sale at Bonhams
Marian Goodman Gallery Golden Square, London to launch October 2014 in former factory warehouse
European Journal of Human Genetics: Science robs French King Henri IV of his head
Julien's Auctions to offer rare medical files of Marilyn Monroe at Icons and Idols Hollywood Auction
Christie's to offer works from the Estate of David Bomberg sold to benefit Hadassah
A rare work by the great Lin Fengmian to be offered at Koller Zurich sale of Asian art
Brazilian gold ingot brings $199,750 to lead World & Ancient Coins Sale at Heritage Auctions
A Cry for Freedom: Exhibition of works by Martin Kippenberger opens at the Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens
Leica Digital Rangefinder Camera designed by Jony Ive and Marc Newson joins (RED) Auction at Sotheby's
Exhibition of classic and lesser-known works demonstrate intellectual and emotive power of animation
One hundred years after founding, Memorial Art Gallery explores how memory shapes identity
Baltimore Museum of Art opens new Front Room & Black Box Contemporary exhibitions
$377,000 helmet tops Bonhams Arts of the Samurai Auction in New York
Pointer painting to cause a 'sensation' at Bonhams New York
Norman Rockwell's classic Song Of Bernadette headlines illustration art event at Heritage Auctions
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- Priceless Van Goghs or just plain art? Works sent to museum for authentication
2.- Exhibition dedicated to the years shared between Pablo Picasso and Olga Khokhlova opens
3.- Man faces court for slashing Thomas Gainsborough painting at the National Gallery
4.- Art world horrified by President Donald Trump's push to end funding
5.- Jane Austen faked her own marriage twice
6.- Exhibition chronicles rise of the Ebony Fashion Fair, empowerment of African-Americans through fashion
7.- Art world horrified by President Donald Trump's push to end funding
8.- Discoveries by Israel Antiquities Authority shine light on life in time of Christ
9.- TEFAF's top masterpiece goes to the Rijksmuseum
10.- Exhibition devoted to the partnership between Michelangelo & Sebastiano opens
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.