Mystery of how Napoleon's hair turned up in Sydney

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Thirty-odd little strands of hair, one big mystery.

Nobody knows how a tawny-coloured lock of hair, apparently snipped from the head of Napoleon Bonaparte on his deathbed, found its way into the bowels of Sydney Town Hall.

Attached to a letter claiming it was a cut from the ''illustrious dead'', the tuft has sat in underground storage for decades among the kitsch international gifts and relics accumulated by the City of Sydney, while councillors debated suburban development applications and muddled over planning laws above. But Sydneysiders will get a chance to have a brush with this piece of history this weekend when the strands, along with a collection of the city's other curios, go on display.

The heritage consultant Margaret Betteridge, who has curated the show, said the collection was not your average museum assemblage.

''That's what the appeal of the collection is, it's a bit quirky and random,'' she said....

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