Queen's Heart Stolen from French Museum
A piece of ancient French history was stolen this weekend from the Thomas-Dobrée museum in Nantes, a city located in western France. Robbers reportedly broke into the museum through a window and stole the gold reliquary containing the heart of Queen Anne of Brittany. Queen Anne had twice been crowned queen of France and is a beloved figure in French history. Despite tripping the alarm, the robbers still managed to escape with the 6-inch oval case with no discernable trace.
The ancient reliquary is topped by a gold crown of lily and clover, representing the royal motif and the Queen's ancestry. In addition to containing the Queen's heart, the reliquary holds additional historical significance as it had previously escaped being melted down during the anguished days at the end of the French Revolution. The masterpiece had been displayed at the Thomas-Dobrée museum for more than 130 years, delighting many visitors.
Queen Anne died in 1516 at the young age of 36 following a kidney stone attack. At the age of 12, she married Charles VIII of France in 1491 and claimed her first crown as Queen. Following King Charles' death in 1498, she married Louis XII 1499 and became Queen once again. After Anne's death, she was buried in Paris Basilica of Saint Denis with other French Royals, as was the traditional decree. However, to prove that her heart would always belong with her native land of Brittany, Anne requested that upon her death her heart be buried alongside her parents at the chapel of the Carmelite friars in Nantes. There her heart has remained until the weekend's robbery.
Inscribed on the 100 grams of gold on the reliquary are the words:
En ce petit vaisseau
De fin or pur et munde
Repose ung plus grand cueur
Que oncque dame eut au munde
Anne fut le nom delle
En France deux fois royne
Duchesse des Bretons
Royale et Souveraine
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