Back in 2008 I wrote about the 15th-century German pirate Klaus Störtebeker. He's in the news again, this time because he's lost his head - or rather, a museum has.
A 600-year-old skull believed to be that of a legendary German pirate has been stolen from a museum in Hamburg.
Klaus Stoertebeker was the most famous German pirate of the Middle Ages. He is believed to have been beheaded by authorities in 1400 in Hamburg, together with 30 of his followers.
The heads were nailed on pillars at the entrance of the Hamburg harbour in an effort to deter would-be pirates.
The skull was stolen from the Museum for Hamburg History on January 9, but the museum didn't immediately announce the theft so as not to hamper the investigation.
It wasn't clear how the exhibit was stolen, or why.
'We are deeply shocked about the theft,' museum director Lisa Kosok said in a written statement. The museum said it was offering a reward of several thousand euros for information leading to the recovery of the skull, but didn't give a specific sum.
The skull, which is perforated by a massive nail, was found during building work in 1878 on the site where the execution is said to have taken place.
There's more at the link.
An intriguing crime, sure . . . but what on earth do the thieves plan to do with it? I can't think of any worthwhile purpose that would be served by purloining it. I mean, you can't drink out of it, as old-time villains were said to do with the skulls of their enemies - this one's got a nail hole in it!