Using DNA experiments, scientists have confirmed the authenticity of a morbid souvenir: bloodstained needles that were taken from the demise website of Belgium’s King Albert I more than 80 years ago.
The results of the brand-new analyse might help put to bed some conspiracy speculations that claim Albert was the victim of slaughter , not a climbing accident.
Albert, who governed from 1909 until his death, was celebrated for its participation in World War I, as he refused to let German units through Belgium to criticize France. An avid mountaineer, he died on Feb. 17, 1934, when he was climbing alone near the hamlet of Marche-les-Dames, southeast of Brussels. His mas was found on a boulder at the hoof of a cliff.[ Photos: Squash Contains Louis XVI’s Blood]
The king’s death, at age 58, came as a shock for the public. People flocked to Marche-les-Dames to pay their respects and to take part in the spectacle, according to news reports. An Associated Press report from Feb. 26, 1934, said here boulder where Albert fell to his death “mustve been” surrounded by barbed wire to protect it from “the depredations of thousands of curious visitors.” The website had become such an attraction that it was being “plucked bare of stones, needles, divisions and everything else removable by souvenir hunters.”
A journalist bought one of those guessed remnants, a define of bloodstained tree needles, at auction in 2013. That journalist then teamed up with scientists for an investigation. The investigates were able to find two of Albert’s living relatives who agreed to help prove the authenticity of the brutal needles: King Simeon II, the last tsar and former prime minister of Bulgaria, and a German baroness appointed Anna Maria Freifrau von Haxthausen.
“They gave up DNA tests that we compared with the DNA of the lines of blood, ” the leader of the study, forensic geneticist Maarten Larmuseau of the University of Leuven in Belgium, said in a statement. “We found that the blood is indeed that of Albert I.”