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Excavations for Romanov remains in summer

YEKATERINBURG, March 19 (RIA Novosti) - Archaeologists plan to resume excavations this summer in the southern Urals, where the remains of the last Russian tsar's children were allegedly found last July, a local archaeologist said Wednesday.

The remains of a boy and a young woman were exhumed near Yekaterinburg, where Tsar Nicholas II, his wife, their four daughters and son, and several servants, were shot by the Bolsheviks in 1918. They are believed to belong to Nicholas II's son and heir Alexis, and his daughter Maria.

"There are plans to resume the excavations...to find items belonging to the Romanov family. This will make it clear whether the remains belong to the tsar's children," said Sergei Pogorelov, a senior archaeological expert at a local research center.

However, Pogorelov said they had not found any sponsors for the research as yet.

Nikolai Nevolin, the region's chief forensic expert, said in late January that DNA tests conducted in Yekaterinburg and Moscow proved positive. He added that the final results would be published in April or May of 2008.

Initial studies revealed that the remains belong to a boy of about 12-14 years of age and a 16-18-year-old girl.

The tsar and his family members' remains were also discovered near Yekaterinburg in 1991. They were authenticated and buried in the St. Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg in 1998, although forensic examination results have been challenged since then.

The Russian Orthodox Church, which has canonized the murdered Romanov family, called the 1998 burial "a political show."

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