Heart of Portuguese monarch who declared Brazil independence brought to Brazil

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The heart of Portuguese monarch who declared Brazil’s independence from Portugal has been brought from Portugal and will be on display during  celebrations of independence anniversary.

The heart of Dom Pedro the First has been kept in formaldehyde in Porto, a Portuguese city. The heart has been kept there since 1834 when the monarch died at the age of 35.

The Portuguese government agreed to loan the heart to Brazil for three weeks for the bicentennial celebration. The Brazilian air force flew it to Brasilia, where it was received on Monday by the country’s defense minister.

The relic will be received by Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro at the presidential palace. The monarch’s heart will be received with military honours and a gun salute. It will then be put on public display at the foreign ministry. Brazil’s independence day is on September 7.

Brazillian nationalists acclaim Pedro’s declaration of independence as the birth of the country. It was an act of defiance against his father, Portuguese King Joao VI. 

The Portuguese king’s family was escorted to safety in Brazil by the British Navy in 1807 before Napoleon’s forces invaded Portugal. On returning to Lisbon in 1821, he left his son Pedro as prince regent of Brazil.

Pedro’s heart was separated in 1834 and kept in a church in Porto according to this last wishes. His remains were donated to Brazil in 1972 for the 150th commemoration of Brazilian independence and are kept in a museum in Sao Paulo.

(With inputs from agencies)
 

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