Chopin's heart exhumed

Chopin Heart Exhumed: Human Organ Preserved In Crystal And Cognac Gets Inspected, Sealed

Chopin’s heart was exhumed earlier this year, inspected, and resealed quietly without fanfare. Only now is the story being told of how Chopin’s heart was exhumed.

Frederic Chopin died in Paris, France in 1849. He was just 39-years-old. As legend has it, he asked to have his heart sent to Poland with his dying breath. Since his death, the body of Frederic Chopin has remained at Pere Lachaise cemetery. His heart was placed in a crystal container, submerged in spirits believed to be cognac, and smuggled into Poland, Chopin’s native land, according to Yahoo! News

More than 150 years after his death, Chopin’s heart was exhumed, and it wasn’t the first time. The most recent exhumation took place in April 2014 under the watchful eyes of 13 individuals gathered at Holy Cross Church, where the heart has been kept nearly since the time of Chopin’s death. Before being enshrined in a pillar of the church, the heart changed hands several times, passing from family member to family member before reaching its final resting place.

The location of Chopin’s heart is marked by a plaque at Holy Cross Church. The 13 people tasked with the responsibility of exhuming the human organ removed the crystal container from its assigned place with the purpose of ensuring that the cognac had not evaporated, leaving the flesh to deteriorate. It hadn’t. After taking 1,000 photos, which will not be released to the public, the group returned the crystal container and its precious cargo to the pillar with a fresh application of wax to help preserve its contents.

Some people would like to have tests run on the heart to confirm Chopin’s cause of death. Was it tuberculosis, cystic fibrosis, or something else altogether? The public may never know. The Polish government and a surviving member of Chopin’s family are unwilling to have the heart tested. According to MSN, no reason was given for the delay in releasing information about exhuming Chopin’s heart.

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, random body parts were found in packages bound for Las Vegas recently, but workers at a Bangkok shipping center discovered the gruesome items and reported them to the authorities. The sheets of tattooed skin, disembodied baby’s head, sliced baby’s foot, and stabbed adult heart had been sealed tightly and placed in containers filled with formaldehyde. The mailing label indicated that the items were toys. They weren’t. An investigation is currently underway.

What do you think of Chopin’s heart being exhumed? Was it a necessary step to ensure preservation of the human organ trapped within its final resting place of crystal and cognac, or should the heart have been left untouched?

[Image via morgueFile]

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