Although grave desecration is not an uncommon crime, the manner in which the perpetrator has gone about doing such a thing is a little less cloak and dagger than normal - he's apparently filmed himself opening up tombs and using pliers to remove the teeth. The composers Johann Strauss and Johannes Brahms are two of the better known victims of this not so covert dental extraction.
The Belgian media have named this individual as Ondrej Jajcaj and it would appear, from a quick perusal of his Facebook account that they might be right. Here he is in his profile picture, with a skull on a stick and a pair of pliers.
|Figure 1: Ondrej Jajcaj, courtesy of his own Facebook page. |
Yep. Totally normal.
|Figure 2: A Facebook screen-capture. Note all the dentures and |
dental fixtures. They're all pretty vintage, they are.
Wonder where they came from.
|Figure 3: A half buried tin of gold teeth. |
We all have one of those, right?
|Figure 4: I wish I could speak Slovakian, just to |
have the faintest idea what's going on here.
Jajcaj's actions are of concern. It is certainly out of the norm behaviourally - how many people regularly take topless pictures of themselves with grave-robbed spoils? But from an archaeological point of view, it is also horrible. The acts of desecration are clearly destructive, ruining the context and meaning of his 'finds'. This makes them completely pointless objects, collected for collections sake alone and at least a little for the simple gratification of an individual who thinks taking pictures like this is appropriate...
|Figure 5: So many things wrong with this picture. |
Again, courtesy of Ondrej Jajcaj's Facebook.
(But at least I know now that there is someone in the world more fascinated by teeth than me. Phew.)