Australian Ned Kelly to get proper burial

2013-01-16 14:42
Ned Kelly (AP)

Ned Kelly (AP)

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Sydney - The body of Australian folk hero Ned Kelly is ready for burial 133 years after his hanging in Melbourne for stealing cattle, robbing banks and killing three policemen, news reports said on Wednesday.

"Our aim is to give Edward a dignified funeral like any family would want to," Joanne Griffiths told the national broadcaster ABC. "We've waited a long time to bury a loved family member. We just ask people to give us the respect to bury him with some privacy and dignity on the day."

Griffiths, the great-granddaughter of Kelly's sister Kate, said the bushranger would be laid to rest in an unmarked grave in a secret place.

A private service was scheduled for Friday.

The headless corpse of the nation's most famous outlaw was found in a mass grave containing the remains of 33 other prisoners in 2011.

Stolen skull

Kelly's skull was stolen from an Old Melbourne Gaol display case in 1978.

He was captured after a shootout in 1880 and executed at Old Melbourne Gaol that same year.

The bodies in the mass grave were shifted to Melbourne's Pentridge Prison in 1929 and then exhumed again in 2009 when the hunt for the headless remains began.

A skull thought to Kelly's was examined in 2009 but proved not to be his.

Griffiths said Kelly would not be buried on the day of the service. She would not confirm speculation that his remains would be interred alongside relatives in the cemetery at Greta, near Glenrowan, the site of his famous last stand.

Greta is 185km north-east of Melbourne.

The exploits of the Kelly Gang have inspired authors, film producers and documentary makers.

Rolling Stones lead singer Mick Jagger played Ned Kelly in the eponymous 1970 feature film. Heath Ledger reprised the role in a 2003 remake that also starred Orlando Bloom and Geoffrey Rush.


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