False remains of Joan of Arc were never considered relics, French diocese says

.- The Diocese of Tours said this week the supposed remains of St. Joan of Arc, preserved in Chinon (France) are in reality mummified Egyptian remains from the 3rd century and “were never considered relics by the Church.”

The spokesman for the diocese, Bertrand Vincent, said the results of tests carried out by a team of French scientists under the direction of Philippe Charlier “confirm one of the hypotheses put forward in recent months” about the remains of bones and clothing found in a container in a pharmacy in Paris in 1867 and that were erroneously identified as “relics of the Dame of Orleans” when in reality they were a hoax.

For years, both the diocese and the parish to which the remains belonged were “uninterested” in the remains, “which were never the object of devotion,” Vincent said, adding that the diocese has nothing to do with Charlier’s research.  “Nobody would have gone to see those bones” if Charlier had not done so, he stated, emphasizing that Charlier was acting on his own initiative.

Sylvaine Delacourte and Jean Michel Duriez of the French perfume companies Guerlain and Jean Patou, were also involved in the research and determined that the remains had the scent of burnt plaster and vanilla, which pointed to natural decomposition rather than to decomposition through fire.  “You might find the scent of vanilla in a mummy but not in the remains of someone burned at the stake,” Charlier said.

A human rib - apparently carbonized, the remains of burned wood, a piece of linen and a femur bone of a cat were also found in the container.

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