Tue, Mar 09, 2010 - Page 13 News List

Mystery as lock of Napoleon’s hair found in Sydney 雪梨市政廳內發現疑似拿破崙髮絲

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A few clippings of hair apparently taken from Napoleon Bonaparte on his deathbed have been found in Sydney’s Town Hall after the 130-year-old building cleaned out its vaults.

The tiny swatch of light-brown hairs had for years been stored in the archives of the imposing sandstone building along with a letter but nobody knows when, why or how they were received.

Margaret Betteridge, who has curated an exhibition of the curios uncovered in the building, said she could not be sure the hair belonged to the deposed French emperor but that the accompanying letter made a good case.

In it, a Scotsman named Ned Todd explains that he was given the hair by a woman whose brother, a Major William Crockat, had been present at Napoleon’s death.

“If I mistake not she said that her brother (Major Crockat) had himself cut the lock from the head of the illustrious dead,” he wrote.

Betteridge said it was known that Napoleon’s hair was cut after his death and that Crockat appeared in a painting depicting the death scene.

More mysterious is how the hair ended up in Sydney, more than 13,000km from where he died in St. Helena in 1821 at the age of 51.

“We don’t know how it got here,” Betteridge told AFP. “But it doesn’t look like it is the sort of thing that someone would fake.”

Betteridge said two years of renovations to improve the town hall had uncovered scores of strange objects stored in underground vaults.(AFP)

擁有一百三十年歷史的雪梨市政廳在清理地下室後,發現了拿破崙•波拿巴臨終時被人剪下的幾綹頭髮。

多年來,這一小撮淺棕色頭髮和一封信一起藏在這棟雄偉的沙岩建築內,沒人知道它們何時、為何、怎麼出現在這裡。

市政廳珍品展策展者瑪格麗特•貝特里奇表示,她不確定這些髮絲是否屬於這位遭罷黜的法國君王,但伴隨的信函提供了證據。

蘇格蘭男子陶德在信中表示,拿破崙臨終時威廉•克羅科特少校隨侍在側,就是他的妹妹將這些髮絲轉贈給他。

他寫道:「如果我沒記錯的話,她說她哥哥(克羅科特少校)親手從去世的拿破崙頭上剪了一撮頭髮。」

貝特里奇表示,大家知道的是,拿破崙去世後被人剪下頭髮,還有克羅科特出現在一幅描繪拿破崙臨終場景的畫作上。

拿破崙一八二一年死於聖赫勒那島,享年五十一歲。但更令人不解的是,這撮髮絲究竟是如何跨越一萬三千多公里來到雪梨?

貝特里奇向法新社表示:「我們不知道它怎麼到這裡的,但這不像有人造假。」貝特里奇說,市政廳進行翻修工程這兩年,在地下室裡發現了許多奇奇怪怪的物品。(法新社╱翻譯:林倩如)

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