Murdered French King Getting Head Back

Henri IV's head was stolen by revolutionaries in 1793
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 15, 2010 12:25 AM CST
Updated Dec 15, 2010 6:39 AM CST
A reconstruction of the face of France's King Henri IV is seen, left, and his skull with the reconstruction overlaid is seen at right.    (AP Photo/Jean-Noel Vignal and Isabelle Huynh-Charlier)

(Newser) – Beloved French monarch Henri IV is going to be reunited with his head after more than 200 years. The king, assassinated by a Catholic fundamentalist in 1610, had his head removed from his body by revolutionaries ransacking a royal chapel in 1793. A head presumed to be Henri's was passed among private collectors for centuries and forensic scientists have now determined that it is indeed the king's head, the BBC reports.

The scientists used modern techniques to identify features seen in portraits of the king, including a scar from a previous assassination attempt. Henri—known as "the good king" for his efforts to end France's religious wars and the "Green Gallant" for his attractiveness to women—will be made whole when his head is reinterred with the rest of him after a national mass and funeral next year.

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