Fingerprint Found on 250-Year-Old Letter May Belong to Leopold Mozart
Friday, November 26, 2004
SALZBURG, Austria ó It's a historian's equivalent of stumbling across a long-lost sonata ó a fingerprint on an ancient letter that experts say may have been left by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's father.
Researchers in Salzburg, Mozart's birthplace, said Thursday [25 November] they were trying to determine if the print actually belonged to the composer's father.
The fingerprint was found on a letter dating to the mid-1700s that appeared to have been written by Leopold Mozart, Salzburg historian Christian Moser told Austrian media. He said it appeared to have been left by accident when the writer got ink on a finger by mistake.
"One doesn't find a fingerprint from Leopold Mozart every day," said Erich Marx, director of Salzburg's Carolino Augusteum museum.
The letter alone is significant, since there are only about 20 examples of the elder Mozart's handwriting in existence today, experts said.
Austria has designated 2006 as a year of Mozart celebrations to mark the 250th anniversary of the composer's birth. Scientists, meanwhile, are using DNA tests to determine whether a skull kept by the International Mozarteum Foundation in Salzburg is part of Mozart's remains.
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