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1940~1949: Cleopatra’s Mummy Dumped in Paris Sewers

The Legend:

Sometime in the 1940's, workmen cleaning a Paris museum dumped out the contents of a mummy case into the sewers... it was only later that the case, which had been taken from Egypt by Napoleon, was identified as that of Cleopatra!

... Really?

        Okay. First things first.

        Officially speaking, as of 2012 no one has found Cleopatra's tomb or body (though there is one scientist who thinks she's close). In addition, no museum is named and specific year or date given in even the earliest form of the legend I've found... which is in Oops! a stupefying survey of goofs, blunders & botches, great & small, by Paul Kircher, published in 1996. Lastly, there is no trace of this story that I can find any earlier than 1996, be it in a magazine, newspaper, or website, so that seems to be the year it all started.

        So, really, the only question is: did Kircher make up the story, or did he find it somewhere else (i.e. made up by someone else)?