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Brazil receives the embalmed heart of the King of Portugal as a sign of independence

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News Tech: BRASILIA, Aug 23 (Reuters) – The embalmed heart of the Portuguese monarch who declared the independence of Brazil from Portugal 200 years ago was received with the military honors of a head of state in Brasilia on Tuesday at the start of bicentenary celebrations.

Dom Pedro I’s heart had been kept in a church in the Portuguese city of Porto since his death in Portugal in 1834. It is being loaned for three weeks to Brazil, where it will be put on display as part of independence anniversary celebrations.

The heart, kept in formaldehyde in a glass jar inside a gold urn, arrived at the presidential palace in an open Rolls Royce flanked by a mounted color guard and was received by President Jair Bolsonaro with a gun salute. Air Force planes flew past.

Pedro declared Brazilian independence in 1822 and was crowned “emperor” of Brazil after his father King Joao VI returned to Portugal following the restoration of European monarchies after the defeat of Napoleon. read more

“Bolsonaro has hijacked our national symbols, the colors of our flag, the shirt of our soccer team, and now the celebration of independence,” historian Lilia Schwarcz said on the O Assunto podcast. “This is a morbid use of history,” she said.

RegisterReporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Lincoln Feast Source: Reuters Trust Principles.

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