Russian intellectuals have demanded that the Orthodox Church finally bury the alleged remains of the Romanov children who died in 1918.
For years, despite numerous tests being carried out, the church expressed doubts that the relics obtained by archeologists really belonged to the Romanov family.
Now that a thorough investigation has been completed, the clergymen should change their minds and bury the remains according to Christian tradition, declared Ivan Artsishevsky, a representative of the Romanov Family Association.
“All legal procedures and examinations have been carried out, and the remains have endured enough,” said Artsishevsky, speaking at a St. Petersburg conference devoted to the Romanovs. “Who is against burying the remains? Let's just bury them. And this is not about the 400th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty, but about the fact that we are a great country, with a great history and culture. We should bury our tsars properly, for science has shown it is indeed them.”
The fact that the Russian Orthodox Church has canonized the family of Emperor Nicholas II and worships them as holy royal martyrs makes this issue particularly acute, the conference participants pointed out.
Nicholas II, his wife and children were shot by the Bolsheviks in 1918 in Yekaterinburg. Their relics were discovered in 1991 and reburied in St. Catherine's Chapel of St. Petersburg's Peter and Paul Cathedral, where the other Russian emperors are buried.
In 2007, archeologists found the remains of two other people 70 kilometers south of the first burial site. Numerous tests have concluded that the relics belong to Crown Prince Alexey Romanov and his sister Maria.
“I have no doubt that the remains found in 2007 belong to the Romanov family,” said the chief investigator and criminologist from the Russian Investigative Committee, Vladimir Soloviev. “I can guarantee you 100 percent – those are Romanovs. We used revolutionary methods to define this. These methods are 10 years ahead of modern technology.”
Others, however, are more cautious about drawing final conclusions.
“The story is told as if there are no doubts that the remains belong to the Romanov family, and there are some dark, evil forces that do not let the Christian burial happen,” said the head of the chancellery of the Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, Aleksandr Zakatov. “This is wrong. There are still doubts, so the position of the church is also understandable. There are quite a lot of questions, many of which are unanswered. What if we bury the relics and they turn out to be a hoax? We can’t deceive the people who believe us by telling them the remains are real.”
Currently the relics are stored in the Russian State Archive.
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