SAN JOSE, CA – A California businessman in possession of Beethoven’s skull is looking to sell it!
Paul Kaufmann discovered the skull in his late mother’s possessions, in a pear-shaped box labeled “Beethoven.” But how did it get there?
From what Kaufmann has gathered, his great-great uncle was a physician who assisted in the 1863 exhumation of Beethoven’s skeleton. It is believed the man then secretly kept the skull, which passed down through the family to Kaufmann. Genetic tests have also revealed a DNA match to the composer.
He is now hoping to sell the skull, preferably to a museum where it could be available to the public. However, selling human remains is very complicated.
Earlier this month, the skull from Yale’s Skull and Bones society was to be auctioned by Christie’s. It was believed it would have reached $10,000-$20,000, before it had to be withdrawn from the auction.
While Sotheby’s has already turned Kaufmann down, Christie’s is not out of the picture just yet, nor are independent vendors. Kaufmann is hoping for an amount in excess of $100,000.