Brahms and Johann Strauss Jr get an unwanted check-up from the tooth fairy.
The Austrian equivalent of the FBI is investigating the disappearance of the teeth of composers Johannes Brahms and Johann Strauss Jr from their graves. It was confirmed on July 2nd by Thomas Vecsey of the State Prosecutors Office in Vienna that both skulls were missing teeth both real and false.
The alleged perpetrator, Ondrej Jajcaj, boasted about his macabre loot on the Internet. The Czech thief released a video that shows him opening a tomb, retrieving the skull of one of the composers and painstakingly removing the teeth with pliers, providing running commentary throughout:
"And now, we come to the major pedestal. On the top are the teeth of Johann Strauss Jr. To the left there are dentures of his wife Adele Strauss. To the right, we have rubber prosthesis of Johannes Brahms. Here, I, as an amateur, have managed to build illegal historical collection of dental works.”
Jajcaj said he stole the teeth with the intention of starting a museum, and confessed to a string of grave robberies in the Viennese Central Cemetery. Although his exploits have been known to the police since cemetery officials alerted them to the raids in 2008, no action was taken initially as the crimes did not fall under the Austrian statute of limitations.
With Schubert, Beethoven and Schoenberg buried in the same compound, Austrian authorities have conducted checks on the graves of other eminent composers.
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