Thursday, November 20, 2014

Chopin's heart

The heart of Frederic Chopin has had a long journey (READ ABOUT IT HERE) since the death of the composer in 1849. At his request it was removed from his body, which was buried at Père Lachaise in Paris, and is now enshrined in a church in his native Poland. After it had been preserved in alcohol (possibly cognac) within a hermetically sealed crystal jar and encased in an urn made of mahogany and oak, it was smuggled into Warsaw by his sister. The organ was examined in 1945, when it was described as "incredibly large." A request by scientists in 2008 to test it and determine the musician's cause of death was denied by the Polish government. But in September, news broke that a group of 13 clergy and scholars clandestinely removed and examined the heart in the middle of a night in April 2014. The relic currently appears as an enlarged white lump submerged in an amber-colored fluid in a crystal jar. The team took hundreds of unreleased photographs, but were not allowed to take tissue samples. Poland's then culture minister Bogdan Zdrojewski was present and declares, "We in Poland often say that Chopin died longing for his homeland. Additional information which could possibly be gained about his death would not be enough of a reason to disturb Chopin's heart." Contradicting that remark is the official announcement by Poland that their native son's heart will be reinspected…but not for another 50 years.


No comments:

Post a Comment

You may add your comments here.