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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Blood of Louis XVI 'found in gourd container'

1 January 2013

After Louis XVI's beheading, spectators
dipped handkerchiefs in his blood 

A team of scientists have said they believe an old gourd contains the blood of French King Louis XVI.

The monarch was killed by guillotine by French revolutionaries more than 200 years ago, on 21 January 1793.

The scientists said the DNA is very similar to genetic material from what is believed to be the mummified head of an earlier French king, AFP reports.

After Louis XVI's beheading many spectators were reported to have dipped their handkerchiefs in his blood.

The piece of fabric had been placed in a dried, hollowed-out gourd, leaving blood stains.

The squash was decorated with images of revolutionary heroes and the words: "On January 21, Maximilien Bourdaloue dipped his handkerchief in the blood of Louis XVI after his decapitation".

The revolutionary souvenir has been in the hands of an Italian family for a century. (...)

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