Secrets of Sicily's Mummies

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For a small fee, you can tour the underground catacombs of the Capuchin monastery in Palermo, Sicily, where 2,000 well-dressed but decaying bodies, mostly from the 19th c., are on display.   Nobody knows exactly why they have been preserved. 

From the February issue of National Geographic:

"Their jaws hang open in silent yowls, rotting teeth grin with menace, eye sockets stare bleakly, shreds of hard skin cling to shrunken cheeks and arthritic knuckles. These people are mostly small, their arms crossed as they sag against the wire and nails that hold them upright, their heads lolling on shoulders, bodies slowly collapsing with the effort of imitating a past life..."

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I think that it is SO amazing how Dr. Alfredo Salafia preserved Rosalia Lombardo. I personally think that she should be buried in a proper grave where she doesn't have to be stared at all of the time. I hope she is happy and can live a more fulfilling life in heaven
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i absolutly love rosalia. but does anyone know the title of the discovery special that was aried about Palermo? i cant find it anywhwere but i remeber watching it as a kid
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"Nobody knows exactly why they have been preserved."

That is NOT true. The bodies were unburied so that all survivors who would see them would be reminded of the truth: "Remember, man, that thou art dust, and unto dust thou shalt return." The bodies were those of Capuchin (Franciscan) friars. At first, those who would see the bodies/skeletons were other friars, who were helped by being reminded that they should avoid coveting life outside the friary, which is over pretty quickly, and "you can't take it with you."
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I live in Palermo, and i saw it...
there are some bodies in an amazing state of conservation...
but we are so full of wonderful things...
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People work there so I'm sure many people who work there have been left alone to check up on everything at night :S thats really creepy...oh wow...
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