The Missing Pirate Skull

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Things disappear from art galleries and museums. Usually if something stolen it is a picture like that of The Scream by Edvard Munch which “walked” from its Oslo home. It isn’t often that it is a skull that walks particularly a skull with a very large metal stake through it. Yet that is what has happened in Hamburg.
The supposed skull (it’s not absolutely sure whose skull it is) of Klaus Stortebeker a pirate who was beheaded in 1400 disappeared from the Hamburg History Museum on January 9th. For reasons unclear, the news of the stolen skull has only just been made public.
On the first floor of the museum is an exhibition devoted to piracy and it is assumed it was from there that the skull disappeared. Since the news was announced the public has visited the museum in increasing numbers. A theft seems to be good for business. But why the skull? It’s not even complete,- the bottom jaw is missing. Surely you can’t sell it. Anyone turning up at the local pawnbrokers is going to get pretty short shrift. And where do you fence a stolen skull? So maybe the thief or thieves is trying to extort money from the museum. But if the museum doesn’t pay who else would buy a skull that is so well known? It’s not going to be easy to say this is not Stortebeker’s skull, this is a different skull and yes, it is a coincidence that there is also a large metal spike in it.
So the thieves aren’t going to do very well out of this. But the museum might. More and more visitors and tourists might go to see where the skull was. There is a replica in place already. Come and see the fake skull of the skull that might have once been a pirate but we can’t really say for sure. It’s not the snappiest piece of marketing you’ll ever hear but something is attracting more tourists.

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