The pickled brain of a 19th-century Italian anarchist, which has been on display in a glass jar in Rome since his death, is finally set to return home.
Giovanni Passannante, a cook, gained notoriety for lunging at Umberto I, the king of Italy, with a three-inch kitchen knife during a royal visit to Naples in 1878.
The then 28-year-old Passannante missed his target, and gouged the prime minister instead. He was arrested and sent to the prison island of Elba. After a decade of solitary confinement, he was judged to be insane and was transferred to an asylum.
When he died in 1910, his body was fed to pigs, but his brain was preserved so that it could be studied for signs of innate criminality.
The brain is currently on view at Rome’s crime museum, but will be transported to his home town of Savoia di Lucania, in the deep south of the country, on May 11.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Pickled brain to return to village
From the Telegraph: