United States: doubts about the authenticity of an Abraham Lincoln hat
DNA tests on the hat held by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum have been shown to be inconclusive. The head of the museum has commissioned new expert reports.
Will President Lincoln's Museum Eat His Hat? Recent DNA tests call into question the authenticity of a headgear that was previously thought to have styled the head of one of the most famous American presidents. The hat in question is a brown top hat, in beaver fur, held by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, the museum dedicated to the illustrious statesman, in the city of Springfield in the south from Chicago.
The museum has long claimed that it adorned the head of the 16th President of the United States, who was known to end slavery and win the American Civil War. Abraham Lincoln is also renowned for his sense of aesthetics.
It is one of the three hats that belonged to Lincoln today visible in an American museum. A precious piece for the museum collection, attracting many visitors, and which is estimated at $ 6.5 million. But it may be that it never belonged to Abraham Lincoln.
Experts from the FBI and curators of the Smithsonian museographic institution analyzed the hat at the request so far kept confidential of the foundation of the museum of Illinois, an independent organization responsible for fundraising and acquisition of objects . DNA tests were carried out, comparing samples of the hat to those of the blood of Abraham Lincoln collected on the night of his assassination, in 1865. The results returned are inconclusive.
Historians have thus written a report recommending that the museum "kindly mitigate its claims about the hat", since its origin could not be formally identified. The results were not made public until local radio WBEZ revealed them this week.
Museum chief Alan Lowe expressed frustration with the silence of the foundation, while downplaying the results of DNA testing, carried out on a 180-year-old object manipulated by many. "It is important to understand that none of these initiatives has produced new evidence on the origin of this hat," Lowe said in a statement.
Thanks to this advertisement, the museum will begin to search for new clues about the object's past, he added. The hat is no longer on display, but it will be on display again when the new tests - which will be made public - will have been carried out.
I believe that the Emperor's DNA was never found on the multiple bicorns attributed to him and this for exactly the same reasons: hundreds of people have manipulated them in the meantime. We therefore trust the history of the object by going up the chain of its multiple known owners. And most of the time it works.
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