Last week, discussing famous people I’d met, I baffled my audience when I mentioned Francisco Pizarro, conqueror of Peru, as the most notable.

Admittedly he didn’t have much to say, having been dead over three hundred years, so it was a rather one-sided discussion, which even were he alive he wouldn’t have understood as he couldn’t speak English. Nevertheless, I gave him a good bollocking.

That encounter was half a century back in a Lima cathedral where he lay embalmed in a glass box. He’s not there now, one would hope on the grounds of Latin Catholicism finally acquiring some taste, but on that count I’m not holding my breath.


It seems you were bollocking the wrong body Sir Bob.

Pizarro’s remains were briefly interred in the cathedral courtyard; at some later time, his head and body were separated and buried in separate boxes underneath the floor of the cathedral. In 1892, in preparation for the anniversary of Columbus’ discovery of the Americas, a body believed to be that of Pizarro was exhumed and put on display in a glass coffin. However, in 1977, men working on the cathedral’s foundation discovered a lead box in a sealed niche, which bore the inscription “Here is the head of Don Francisco Pizarro Demarkes, Don Francisco Pizarro who discovered Peru and presented it to the crown of Castile.” A team of forensic scientists from the United States, led by William R. Maples, was invited to examine the two bodies and they soon determined that the body which had been honored in the glass case for nearly a century had been incorrectly identified. The skull within the lead box not only bore the marks of multiple sword blows, but the features bore a remarkable resemblance to portraits made of the man in life.[17][18]

Maybe it be infamous……

There’s only a few famous people I would give time to, and its those that created a better life for others; and not stolen the intellectual property.

… I recall an event in the Philippines when two penguins ( nuns ! ) sat either side of me and requested a generous donation for the local orphanage …. my repost was that their anti-contraceptives spouting Catholic religion was responsible for unwanted pregnancies and child poverty … … either they didn’t understand or were offended … no matter , I gave a generous quantity of books and stationary to a nearby primary school instead … no penguins attended …. they never learn … but the kids do …

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