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DNA Testing – The Mozart Mystery

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Despite DNA testing, the mystery surrounding Mozart’s skull deepens. Some things can better left to the imagination. History is full of unsaid stories, unresolved mysteries and many lost souls. But when you are a famous person in life you are also famous in death. DNA testing has been used to confirm identities of everyone from notorious Egyptian queens to renowned German poets. Also Mozart, who has captured the imagination of followers and historians since his revolution of the music world over two hundred years ago, is no exception.

DNA Testing On Mozart’s Skull

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg over 250 years ago and scientists have been carrying out DNA tests on a skull thought to been his. The task was dubbed ‘CSI Mozart’ after a Television station asked scientists to undertake DNA testing on the skull to unearth the truth. The scientists who were from the University of Innsbruck in Austria had   a lot of experience in DNA testing on ancient remains. The DNA testing on the skull which had been kept in Mozart’s hometown of Salzburg and protected by the Mozarteum foundation since 1902 did however prove inconclusive.

DNA Testing with US Army

Scientists who worked alongside the US Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory in Maryland did fail to find anything conclusive from the DNA tests carried out on the skull. The DNA of the skull was compared to DNA that was retrieved from the remains of Mozart’s relatives. The remains were thought to be those belonging to Mozart’s grandmother and his niece, but DNA tests showed that the remains from both women’s remains were actually not related. Also neither of the female skeletons was related in any way to the skull thought to be Mozart’s.

DNA Testing Deepens Mystery

The DNA testing therefore only deepened this mystery as the grave’s that were thought to be where Mozart’s family were laid are also now in question. The skull in the Mozarteum is thought to be one that had been dug up bya gravedigger who claimed he had buried Mozart. The gravedigger then returned to the original burial site ten years later to dig up the skull in Vienna’s Central Cemetery. The skull was then displayed in the Mozarteum until 1940, when it was considered ‘indecent’ and moved into a safe.

It seems, even with the DNA testing that had been carried out, there is still no end to the mystery of Mozart’s skull.


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