BEETHOVEN'S HAIR, SHELTERED FOR NEARLY
Everyone gathered prompdy at 10:30 because there was much to do, and the first order of business was the signing of a contract that stipulated how the hair would be divided. Once counted, strand by aging and fragile strand, 27 percent would remain the property of Dr. Alfredo "Che" Guevara, the principal investor, a urological surgeon from the border town of Nogales. The remainder would be donated by him and Brilliant to the Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies at San Jose State University in California, where it would remain in perpetuity.
two centuries inside a glass locket, was about to become the subject of rapt attention on a warm December morning in 1995. The two men principally involved in its purchase—Brooklyn-born Ira Brilliant, a retired Phoenix real estate developer, and a Mexican-American physician whose surprising name is Che Guevara—had been joined by a coterie of inquisitors in a teaching theater at the University of Arizona Medical Center in Tucson: a forensic anthropologist was present; so were a medical examiner, an archivist and conservator, a medical photographer, a recording secretary, a notary public, a local television news team, plus a London-based film crew from the BBC.