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Talk of reburying remains of Crown Prince Alexey and Princess Maria premature - House of Romanov

Moscow, October 13, Interfax - The Imperial House of Romanov led by Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna believes that it is premature to ask the Russian authorities to create a state commission for the reburial of Crown Prince Alexey and Princess Maria's remains, Alexander Zakatov, Director of the Chancellery of the House of Romanov, told Interfax on Thursday.

Earlier, some representatives of the House of Romanov circulated a statement at a press conference in St. Petersburg, arguing that the remains of Alexey and Maria should be buried in the St. Catherine Chapel of the St. Peter & St. Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg.

"The Russian Imperial House believes that everyone has a right to one's own opinion, including royal relatives. But what we see in this particular case is an ill-thought-out statement. Creating a commission and carrying out the reburial is impossible until the Russian Orthodox Church says its word," Zakatov said.

"At first the Church must spell out its substantiated and ultimate position and only then decisions can be made on reburying the remains found near Yekaterinburg. If those are the remains of members of the royal family, then they should certainly be buried in the sepulcher," he said.

Earlier, the House of Romanov questioned the remains' identity but said that it would wait for the Church to speak up on the issue.

"If it turns out that those are the remains of some other nameless martyrs, they also deserve proper burial. But it's impossible to repeat the sad situation of 1998, stage a show again, ignoring the opinion of the Church and that of the Imperial House," Zakatov said, referring to the first set of "Yekaterinburg remains".

As for the remains of two young bodies found in 2007, 70 km south of the first burial site, representatives of the Romanov family, who are pushing for the remains' speedy reburial, "are free to raise the issue as private persons", he said, adding that it was sad that they ignored the position of the Church.

A grave with nine bodies was found on Staraya Koptyakovskaya Road near Yekaterinburg in July 1991. The remains were identified as those of Tsar Nicholas II, his 46 year-old wife Alexandra Fyodorovna, their daughters Olga, 22, Tatyana, 21, and Anastasia, 17, doctor Yevgeny Botkin, aged 53, servants Anna Demidova, aged 40, Aloizy Trupp, aged 62, and Ivan Kharitonov, aged 48.

Fragments of human bones and teeth were discovered during archaeological excavation works 70 kilometers south of the first grave, at a depth of 60 centimeters, on July 26, 2007. The remains were not identified and the circumstances of the death were not established, but the location and look of the grave suggested that the remains were those of Crown Prince Alexey and his sister Maria.

Investigator Vladimir Solovyov, who was probing the criminal case of the murder of Nicholas II and his family, told Interfax in January that he does not doubt the identity of the remains found near Yekaterinburg.


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