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Postscript

Thanks to Lenora, I have learnt that some bones have been found at Hanover Castle which are believed to be the remains of Count Philip Christoph von Konigsmarck. As a postscript to my earlier piece on the Konigsmark Affair, I have summarised the newspaper report as best I can (my apologises for any inaccuracies in my summary).

The original article by Isabel Christian and Simon Benne appeared in Hannoverlche Allgemeine on 26/27 August 2016.  To read the article in full, in the original German, please click on the link given below:- http://t.haz.de/Hannover/Aus-der-Stadt/Uebersicht/Lag-ermordeter-Graf-323-Jahre-unterm-Leineschloss


Leineschloss. Image via Wikipedia.

Leineschloss. Image via Wikipedia.

During renovation work at the German Parliament on the 11th August 2016, construction workers found the remains of a human skeleton. The German Public Prosecutor’s Office now suspect that the remains could be the bones of Count Philipp Christoph Königsmarck whose disappearance over 300 years ago at Leine Castle in mysterious circumstances made it one of the most puzzling unsolved murder cases of the 17th century. The initial examination carried out at the Hanover Medical School (MHH) revealed that the bones may be several hundred years old. But it is also possible that the remains are of another unidentified individual. In the middle ages, a Franciscan monastery existed on the present site of the Landtag. Later, the Welfs had their family vault beneath the chapel of Leine Castle. The building was damaged in the war and when the ruins were later incorporated into the State Parliament in 1957, royal coffins were found in the crypt’s mausoleum.  So it is more than possible that the bones could belong to a friar or were simply missed when the other bones were removed and reburied after the war.

Professor Michael Klintschar, Director of the Institute for Legal Medicine at the MHH, is cautious about the finds saying that their initial examination was at the request of the police and their remit was to verify whether or not the bones were over 50 years old. Based on their findings they can confirm that the bones are far older than 50 years old but for now can’t draw anymore conclusions.

Further investigation needs to be carried out and so the remains will be taken to the Institute for Historical Anthropology at the Georg Albrecht University in Göttingen, Germany where they will be examined using the latest forensic technology. Scientists from different disciplines will be brought together to work on this important project. Thomas Schwark, Director of the Historical Museum said that it will be sensational if the bones turn out to belong to Königsmarck, as the Königsmarck affair has captured the imagination of so many people including authors, historians and song writers. The museum director of the Schloss Herrenhausen, Salazar has also confirmed that if the bones are genuine a Königsmarck exhibition would be considered.

 

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