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Napoleon’s hair 'stolen to order'

Police believe artefacts linked to the emperor are destined for a private collection

A LOCK of Napoleon’s hair and other artefacts linked to the emperor were “stolen to order” from an Australian museum, police believe.

In total, 10 items were stolen, including the glass frame containing Napoleon’s hair, a ring, a snuff box, a silver inkwell set with three gold coins which were allegedly in his pocket when he died and portraits of the emperor and Josephine.

The thieves entered through a bathroom of the historic Briars Park homestead in Mount Martha, on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, last Thursday.

In a raid that lasted just 10 minutes, they forced open cabinets and stole the items, which museum officials described as “priceless”.

Police believe it was a targeted robbery and that the artefacts were stolen to order for a private collector.

The remainder of the 500 items in the collection have been moved for safe keeping.

Many of the items were taken to Australia by Alexander Balcombe, who had met the emperor when he was exiled on the South Atlantic island of St Helena.

Having met Napoleon as a child, Mr Balcombe settled in Australia in 1846.

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