SALZBURG, Austria, October 26, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) ó Scientists have exhumed the bodies of some relatives of composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in Salzburg, Austria, to obtain DNA samples.
The DNA will be used to verify that a skull currently held at Mozart's memorial foundation in Salzburg is indeed that of the classical composer, reported the BBC Tuesday [26 October].
The exhumed bodies from St. Sebastian's Cemetery in Salzburg are believed to be those of Mozart's father, Leopold; his maternal grandmother; and Jeanette, the 16-year-old daughter of his sister Nannerl.
"We need DNA samples from one of Mozart's female relatives in order to make a comparison with the skull at the Mozarteum," Christian Reiter, a professor of forensic medicine, told the BBC.
The location of Mozart's grave is unknown. He was buried in Vienna, but later the grave was re-used and his remains were dispersed; however, it's said that a gravedigger rescued the skull.
The International Mozarteum Foundation received the skull in 1902.
Copyright 2004 by United Press International.