The Ned Kelly death mask, freshly cast off the corpse
The remains of Ned Kelly, one of the most legendary men, and most famous criminal, of Australia's short history, were dumped into a mass grave outside the prison where he was executed in 1880. His bones have recently been uncovered, though the skull is still missing. Wonder which family has been quietly passing that unique piece of Australiana from generation to generation?
The grave site of Australia's most notorious bushranger was discovered after historians and archeologists unearthed an old Department of Justice document yielding a vital clue.Must be time to attempt to clone Ned Kelly by now. When the clones grow up, they can go on tour through our shopping centres and malls, perhaps a musical. Or just focus on TV. Ned Kelly Idol? Dancing With The Neds?
Bone hunters during the week finally found an unknown mass grave where the remains of Kelly and other executed prisoners - removed from the Old Melbourne Gaol when it closed in 1929 - were interred at Pentridge.
"We have still some testing to do, but it's pretty clear we have found them," Heritage Victoria Senior Archeologist Jeremy Smith said yesterday.
Plans for the remains have not been finalised, but a publicly accessible cemetery and rose garden will be created at Pentridge.
Kelly was hanged at Melbourne Gaol on November 11, 1880, for crimes including murder.
Australians loved, and still love, their bushrangers, even the cop killers.
Here's a clip of Heath Ledger in the sadly under-rated Ned Kelly movie, by Gregor Jordan. This is the last minutes of the movie :
A more traditional image of Kelly.