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Austrian police have launched a manhunt after a video surfaced online of a man apparently stealing the teeth of composers Johann Strauss II and Johannes Brahms.
The footage is said to show the thief opening the grave of one of the composers. He then pulls out a skull and gives a running commentary as he pulls out a number of teeth with a pair of pliers.
The alleged desecrations occurred at Vienna’s Central Cemetery. Other famous composers buried there include Beethoven, Schubert and Schoenberg. It is understood that police have now decided to check their graves for signs of theft.
Police opened the graves of Strauss and Brahms earlier this year. It was discovered that teeth – both real and false – were missing from the graves of the composers.
The thief – known to police as OJ – reportedly wants to display the teeth in a museum. He claims to have amassed a collection of skulls and teeth from the cemetery. If caught, he faces charges of burglary and disturbing the peace of the dead.
Johann Strauss II died in 1897 and Brahms passed away two years before him.