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Dutch building where Mati Hari was born burns

October 19, 2013

AMSTERDAM (AP) — A fire has gutted a building in the Netherlands where Mata Hari, the exotic dancer and World War I spy, was born.

Dutch television broadcast images of the building, now occupied by the Hari hair salon, showing it engulfed in flames on Saturday in the northern city of Leeuwarden, 70 miles (110 kilometers) north of Amsterdam.

In 1876, Mata Hari was born there as Margaretha Zelle, the daughter of a Dutch businessman. She later fled an unhappy marriage and won acclaim as an exotic dancer in Paris in the early 1900s.

She was executed by firing squad by the French in 1917 on suspicion of spying for Germany, though her guilt was long a question of historical dispute.

Greta Garbo portrayed Mata Hari in a famous film in 1931.

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