18 December, 2010

"The monarch" was in Anjou

Once again, Anjou and English are associated in national, even international, press coverage. The British Medical Journal published - in English of course - on december 14th a study entitled "Multidisciplinary medical identification of a French king's head" written by a group of doctors from... France. They categorically identified it was Henri IV's head which was discovered by two editors in january 2010 in... Anjou.

 A retired tax collector, Jacques Bellanger, 84, bought (!) the relic in 1955 (at auctions!) and kept it since in the attic of his Anjou house. During 55 years, the head of "the monarch" (so qualified by the owner) was in a wooden case, itself put back on a shelf of a wardrobe. According to the BMJ, Henry IV's head has "a light brown colour, open mouth, and partially closed eyes. The preservation was excellent, with all soft tissues and internal organs well conserved". "The face is at the same time expressive and terrifying", told the French editors.

This is not the first "stay" of Henry IV in Anjou. The monarch was in Angers at the time he prepared the edit de Nantes. At that time, he was hosted in the Logis Barrault. He went also to Briollay for hunting. In order to get the confidence of the catholics, he went to Angers cathedral and he laid the first stone of the Capucins monastery.  The definitive version of the text was written in the Jacobins monastery. The Anjou province was twice the origin of the celebrity of Henry IV.

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