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Press briefings


On Monday 15th November 2010 at 10.00 am, Tycho Brahe’s tomb in the Týn Church in Prague will be opened by a joint Danish and Czech research team led by medieval archaeologist Professor Jens Vellev of Aarhus University. “We look forward to discovering the condition of the remains of Tycho Brahe, who died in 1601, and also those of his wife, who was buried by his side three years later. We are, of course, currently unaware of the conditions in the deep burial crypt where the remains of the two have lain untouched since 1901”, Jens Vellev  explains.

To be able to learn more about Tycho Brahe’s general health, and his medicine intake during the course of his life, the research team hope to find well-preserved remains of bones and beard. “At the last tomb opening in 1901, only a physical description of the remains was made.  This over 100-year old summary will now be supplemented with a series of analyses which modern technology allows us to conduct using varied and often complicated methods”, adds Jens Vellev.

Tests to be carried out include a CT-scan and a technique known as PIXE analysis. The results of these analyses will be published in 2011. Another key part of the project concerns the patterned silk suit which Tycho Brahe was buried in. “We hope that enough fragments have been preserved in the tomb to enable us to recreate the entire costume” says Jens Vellev. Finally, the research team will undertake a detailed analysis of the construction of the burial crypt.

Please find enclosed the programme for the opening of Tycho Brahe’s tomb and his reburial in Prague next week, along with an invitation to the press briefings on Monday 15th November and Friday 19th November.

Contact persons are:

Marie Louise Gammelgaard, Faculty of Humanities, Aarhus University
Tel.+45 8942 6923, Email: Tychobrahe@hum.au.dk

Czech Republic
Veronika Trojanová, Danish Embassy in Prague, Tel. +420 725 806 645, Email: vertro@um.dk

Further information

  • humaniora.au.dk/tychobrahe


Monday 15th November 2010

9:50 am: Týn Church open to the press, closed to the public.

10:00 am: Opening of the tomb.

Following the opening of the grave:  Research team leader Jens Vellev to give a brief summary of the findings.

8:00pm – 8:30pm:  Press briefing at Hotel Evropa
address: Václavské náměstí 826/25, Prague 1

At the press conference, team leader medieval archaeologist Jens Vellev of Aarhus University and medical anthropologist Petr Valeminsky of the National Museum, Prague will give a briefing of the condition in which Tycho Brahe’s remains have been found, and the initial significance of this for the investigation – as well as details on how much of the burial suit etc. has been preserved. The opportunity to question the two researchers, and to obtain photographs from the opening of the coffin, will be given. The press briefing will be introduced by the Danish Ambassador to the Czech Republic, Mr. Ole E. Moesby. Svend Aage Mogensen, Head of Communication at the Faculty of Humanities, Aarhus University, will also be present.

Friday 19th November 2010

12:30pm – 1.00 pm: Press briefing at Hotel Evropa,

(Václavské náměstí 826/25, Prague 1),

The team leader Jens Vellev, accompanied by Czech colleagues, will give a summary of the work carried out during the course of the week. The Danish Ambassador to the Czech Republic, Mr. Ole E. Moesby will also be present.

3:00pm – 4:30pm  The reburial ceremony of Tycho Brsahe will take place in Tyn Church. The ceremony will be led by the archbishop of Prague, Mons. Dominik Duka. Local choir Notre Dame and the Danish Holmen Church choir to take part in the ceremony. The Danish Minister of Ecclesiastical Affairs, Ms. Birthe Rønn Hornbech to give a short speech on Tycho Brahe.