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Embalmed heart of Emperor took an airplane to Brazil

A heart of the country’s first emperor, Pedro I, will be exhibited to mark 200 years of independence.



To celebrate 200 years since Brazil’s independence from Portugal, the embalmed heart of the country’s first emperor, Pedro I, is being transported to the capital city of Brasilia.

The flask containing the heart, which has been preserved in formaldehyde, is currently in transit from Portugal aboard a military plane.

Military honors will be given, and then it will be displayed in the foreign ministry for all to see.

After Brazil celebrates its independence, the heart will be sent back to Portugal.

The city of Porto agreed to let the preserved organ travel there from the city for the bicentennial celebrations in Brazil.

Rui Moreira, mayor of Porto, is flying with the organ in a Brazilian air force plane.

After basking “in the admiration of the Brazilian people,” Mayor Moreira said it would head back to Portugal.

“The heart will be received like a head of state, it will be treated as if Dom Pedro I was still living among us,” Alan Coelho de Séllos, chief of protocol for Brazil’s foreign ministry, said.

Complete military honors, including a cannon salute and honour guard, will be presented.

Mr. Séllos announced that the national anthem and the independence anthem, both of which were composed by Dom Pedro I (who was also a skilled musician in his spare time) would be performed.

In 1789, Dom Pedro was born into the Portuguese royal family, which also ruled Brazil at the time. As Napoleon’s army approached, the family took refuge in the Portuguese colony.

Dom Pedro became regent of Brazil at age 22 when his father, King John VI, returned to Portugal in 1821.

The young regent defied the Portuguese parliament a year later when it demanded that he return to Portugal because it wanted to keep Brazil as a colony.

A proclamation of Brazilian independence was issued by him on September 7, 1822; he was soon after crowned emperor.

He died at the age of 35 from tuberculosis after returning to Portugal to fight for his daughter’s claim to the Portuguese throne.

The dying king requested that his heart be taken to Porto, Portugal, and placed on an altar in the city’s Church of Our Lady of Lapa.

His remains, which were brought to Brazil in 1972 to celebrate the country’s 150th anniversary of independence, rest in a crypt in the city of So Paulo.