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Arsenic Idea Backed in Napoleon's Death

June 02, 2001|Times Wire Services

PARIS — Officials of the Forensic Institute of Strasbourg said Friday that tests on five samples of emperor Napoleon Bonaparte's hair confirm "major exposure to arsenic."

The results were presented at a news conference featuring a leading proponent of the poisoning theory: Ben Weider, a Canadian author of six books on the emperor.

Napoleon was the victim of a British-French conspiracy and died at the hands of a friend, Weider claims.

Institute director Bertrand Ludes and toxicologist Pascal Kintz said they analyzed, and dismissed, the idea that the arsenic came from other sources, such as seafood. Napoleon died at 52 on May 5, 1821.

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