For Sale: Beethoven's Skull

In reference to the book Cranioklepty by Colin Dickey, Keith Thomson writes at The Huffington Post about the hobby of skull collecting. Among the most famous skulls held in collections might be that of the composer Ludwig Von Beethoven:

The seller is California businessman Paul Kaufmann, who first became aware that his family possessed the item in 1990. While searching among his late mother's possessions, he happened on an ancient, pear-shaped box labeled "Beethoven."

Years of investigation by historians and scientists make a compelling case that the box was labeled accurately. Exhibit A: Kaufmann's great-great uncle was a physician closely involved in the 1863 exhumation of Beethoven (and Franz Schubert) largely for scientific study; according to several accounts, the physician kept Beethoven's skull. Exhibit B: Tests of existing strands of the composer's hair point to a DNA match. For Exhibits C through Z, see Dickey's book.

The owner hopes to earn at least $100,000 for the skull. At the link, you can read about other famous collectible skulls.

Link via Digg | Photo: Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies

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The right and proper thing to do would be to just simply return the skull to its RIGHTFUL place where it should be. That would be the decent and respectful thing to do plain and simple. I think that by holding on to it and not returning it says a lot about the person who has it. No one has the right to that skull! Maybe when he dies someone will use his skull for an ashtray and not return it. How would he or his family like that I wonder?
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I can't imagine why anyone would want someone's skull, no matter who they were, or how it's even considered ok to do so. I know some people are tacky, but this is just disrespectful and grotesque.
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Seems to me that someone probably could stake a legit legal claim to the skull,too. Either Beethoven's heirs or the person/organization that loaned the body to the guy with the skull's ancestor for scientific study. The skull was stolen. I would think that guy doesn't really have a right to sell a clearly stolen artifact, even if it was stolen years and years ago.
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He should do something with a little more taste than just sell it to just anyone with the money. He should bury it with the rest of Beethoven's body, or donate it to a museum or something that honors Beethoven's life and work or at least donate the proceeds of the sale to a museum to a worthy charity cause. It's creepy to buy or sell skulls for decorative or private collector's items.
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