Museum of Criminal Anthropology

The Museum of Criminal Anthropology (Turin, Italy)

In 1876 Cesare Lombroso, a forty-year-old former army surgeon and the medical superintendent of a lunatic asylum at Pesaro in northern Italy, published a treatise on criminal man, L’Uomo Delinquente, which claimed that his lifetime study of more than 6000 criminals had shown that they tended to possess certain well-developed physical characteristics.  In Lombroso’s view, habitual criminals tended to have wide jaws, high cheekbones, long arms, and large ears (approximately square in shape), as well as an unusually narrow field of vision.  In 1898, Lombroso founded this museum under the name “the Museum of Psychiatry and Criminology” to display his collections.  There are 400 skulls in his collection, Also on show are drawings, photos, criminal evidence, anatomical sections of “madmen and criminals” and work produced by criminals in the last century. The exhibits also include the Gallows of Turin, which were in use until the city’s final hanging in 1865.  And, best of all, Lombroso’s own head is on display in a jar!

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About Comtesse DeSpair

The Comtesse DeSpair sits in sullen silence in The Castle DeSpair, obsessively reflecting upon the horrible void in which we exist. In her spare time (of which she has nothing but), she collects morbid trinkets and reads voraciously about the history of torture. She stores her trinkets in The Asylum Eclectica (http://asylumeclectica.com/). The Comtesse is hideously disfigured and thickly veiled at all hours. Once, an unfortunate servant caught a glimpse beneath the veil and was driven to madness. The Comtesse loves thunderstorms, darkness, and solitude.

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