Robespierre gets 3D makeover, possible diagnosis

PARIS (AP) — A pair of researchers who gave the French revolutionary Robespierre a disputed 3D makeover say it’s possible the man best known for unleashing the Terror may have had an autoimmune disorder.

Using a death mask that some historians believe was taken by Madame Tussaud herself just after Maximilian de Robespierre was guillotined, the researchers constructed a pockmarked, malevolent face that bears little resemblance to portraits of the revolutionary leader.

Researchers Philippe Charlier and Philippe Froesh, in a letter in the British journal Lancet published Friday, said their review of the death mask and descriptions of Robespierre’s ailments by contemporaries indicate he could have had sarcoidosis, a rare autoimmune disorder that was first recognized in 1877, nearly 100 years after the revolution.

Some historians question the mask’s authenticity.

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