While Polish composer and virtuoso pianist Frédéric Chopin died in Paris in 1849, five months short of his 40th birthday, he left his heart in Warsaw. Obsessively terrified of being buried alive, Chopin requested in his will that his heart be cut out after his death and sent to the city where he grew up. Preserved in a jar of alcohol – probably cognac – the heart was duly smuggled past authorities and across borders (this would go on...

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