Relatives of the former Australian-Irish outlaw Ned Kelly have reacted with anger over proposals to put his bones on public display.
Kelly, the son of an Irish man, was hanged for murder in Old Melbourne Jail in 1880. His headless skeleton was discovered in an axe box buried under the former Pentridge Prison recently.
He has become Australia’s iconic outlaw figure and has become arguably Australia’s most famous figure.
DNA has confirmed that the skeletal remains are those of the infamous outlaw.
"It's almost a complete skeleton apart from the missing skull," said a spokesman for the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine
Anthony Griffiths, the great-grand nephew of Kelly, has said that he is sickened by the government’s plans to put his bones on display.
“To do that would be recreating something out of medieval times,” he said. “This plan is macabre and disgusting.”
A former Pentridge Prison chaplain, Father Peter Norden told the Australian Broadcasting Commission the decision about the criminal’s remains should be left up to his ancestors.
“In the past, the family has suggested that Kelly's bones be buried beside his father, Red, who is believed to be buried in central northern Victoria.
“For too long his remains remained in the Old Melbourne Gaol. The skull was on display in a kind of ghastly exposition of lack of respect.
“Australia has moved way beyond the barbaric times when we thought we could uphold the value of human life by taking the life of another.”
Father Norden added that he though Kelly had been denied a fair trial after he was charged with the murder of three policemen who were on the hunt for him: “There were serious grounds about the fact he shot in self-defense at the time because there was a clear conspiracy by Victorian police not to arrest him but to execute him.”