Thursday, 2 November 2017

Striptease & Spy: Mata Hari



On the cold morning of October 15, 1917, Mata Hari was executed in the Parisian suburb of Vincennes, President Raymond Poincare having refused her request for clemency.

Witnesses wrote that she wore a long, black velvet cloak with fur trimmings and a large square fur collar.

She is said to have declined a blindfold and blew kisses to her executors.

Asked by a military clerk whether she had any last revelations, she replied: "None, and if I had, I would keep them to myself."

The ultimate femme fatale, she has inspired a dozen films, numerous books, historical works, exhibitions and even a ballet by the Dutch National Ballet.

Her iconic status was cemented in 1931 when Swedish-born actress Greta Garbo played her in a film entitled "Mata Hari".

The nature and extent of her espionage activities remain, however, uncertain, and her guilt is still widely contested today.

"She never provided the least valid information, neither to the Germans, nor to the French," according to the French magazine Le Point in 2016, echoing a view expressed in other media.

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