Napoleon’s bronze death mask still shrouded in mystery almost 200 years later

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A mysterious bronze death mask of French Emperor Napoleon offers a macabre glimpse into his death in exile on the remote Atlantic island of St. Helena.

The mask was cast from a mold taken shortly after Napoleon’s death, according to New Orleans gallery M.S. Rau Antiques, which is selling the unusual artifact for $34,500. Napoleon, who had been exiled to the British territory of St. Helena following his defeat in the Battle of Waterloo, died on May 5, 1821.

The 250th anniversary of Napoleon’s birth is Aug. 15.

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