Home History A thief cut off the head of a famous composer A thief cut off the head of a famous composerJoseph Haydn became one of Austria's most famous composers. His skull met an even stranger fate. History 21/06/2023 by Space Navy 0 Comment Joseph Haydn became one of Austria’s most famous composers. His skull met an even stranger fate. A few days after the funeral of the composer Joseph Haydn, a man crept into the cemetery. He opened the composer’s grave and cut the half-rotted head off his corpse. This thief was organized by Haydn’s acquaintances, Joseph Rosenbaum and Johann Peter. They wanted to find out if Haydn’s genius could be read in the cracks and crevices of the skull. The skull was cleaned and set up by Peter and then by Rosenbaum. Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) became one of Austria’s most famous composers – and so did his skull. When 11 years later it was decided to honor Haydn with a more important burial plot, the theft was discovered. Suspicion soon fell on Peter and Rosenbaum, and a house search was conducted at their home. Rosenbaum managed to hide the skull in his rack and had his wife sit in it during the search. The skull was therefore not found. But the partners still let the authorities have another skull, which was placed in Haydn’s coffin. VIDEO: Craniologists search for Haydn’s genius It was only in 1954 that the correct skull surfaced – after passing through many owners – and was reunited with its owner after 145 years. However, no one removed the other skull. Haydn’s grave now contains two skulls.