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02. 07. 12. - 13:00

Police probe museam theft of teeth from Strauss and Brahms

The teeth of two of the world's most famous composers have been stolen from their graves by a man who says he wants to start a museum.

The alleged Czech thief who has boasted about his crime on the internet says he wants to now display the famous teeth and dentures he has robbed not just from Austrian waltz king Johann Strauss Jr. and German Romantic composer Johannes Brahms, but from hundreds of other graves as well.

Austrian police were alerted to the crime after the grave robber released a video where he can be seen apparently pushing the cover to one of the composer's tomb open - and pulling out a skull.

He then removes the teeth with a pair of pliers. The man was identified in Austrian media reports simply by the initials of his first name and surname – OJ.

The man claims to have amassed hundreds of skulls and dentures from robbing graves but when they were alerted to it by Vienna cemetery officials in 2008 police decided it wasn't worth investigating and that any crime fell out of  Austria's statute of limitations. The bottom line is that they just didn't seem to feel that any damage had been done, reported local media.

New evidence other graves might have been disturbed more recently has led to the probe being reopened, and also pressure has grown after the story appeared in a best-selling Austrian newspaper.

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