BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - For the first time in more than 100 years, one of French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte's four death masks left its home in New Orleans and traveled to Baton Rouge. The mask was unveiled in a ceremony Thursday morning and will be featured as part of the Capitol Park Museum's exhibit "
According to the museum, Dr. Francesco Antommarchi, one of Napoleon's physicians at the time of his death, is believed to have crafted the original mold for this mask forty hours after Napoleon died on May 5, 1821. The mold was later used to cast four bronze masks, including this one, and three replicas.
Death masks are made to commemorate the dead, often someone of prominence. Napoleon became first consul of France in 1799 at the end of the French Revolution. By 1804, he had crowned himself emperor of France but was exiled in 1815.
"We've really tried to make the Capitol Park Museum a place that people in the Baton Rouge Area knew about and would visit," said Baton Rouge Lieutenant Governor Jay Dardenne. "And we hope that having the mask here, having this exhibit open on the 24th, will really draw people to the museum who have never been here before."
The exhibit with the death mask opens on Oct. 24 at the Capitol Park Museum and will be there until February 2015.
You can also see a painting of Napoleon Bonaparte and a first edition of Thomas Paine's pamphlet 'Common Sense.'