2010-06-28 18:20:00

Claimant to Russian throne disputes authenticity of alleged royal remains

Moscow, June 28, Interfax - Maria Vladimirovna Romanova, a claimant to the headship of Russian Imperial House, still wants proof that the alleged remains of the country's last royal family unearthed in the Ural area in 1991 and 2007 really were body fragments of Tsar Nicholas II, his wife and their children, her spokesman said on Monday.

"The head of the Russian Imperial House has a right to know who is buried next to her ancestors in the necropolis of the Romanovs House [at the Cathedral of Sts Peter and Paul in St. Petersburg]. She demands complete information on the circumstances of the execution of her relatives," Alexander Zakatov said in a statement.

The authenticity of the remains is still questioned by scientists, and Maria Vladimirovna, whose claim to the virtual throne is disputed by other Romanovs, "fully supports the position of the Russian Orthodox Church, which can see no reason today to accept those remains as relics of the holy royal martyrs," Zakatov said.

Official reports said investigations ordered by the Russian Office of the Prosecutor General had confirmed that human remains found by the side of the Staraya Koptyakovskaya Road near Yekaterinburg in July 1991 were those of Nicholas II and members of his family and retinue. The finds reportedly included no remains of Nicholas' son Alexey and daughter Maria.

The remains dug out in 1991 were ceremonially buried at the Cathedral of Sts Peter and Paul on July 17, 1998, the 80th anniversary of the execution of the royal family and members of their entourage by a Bolshevik firing squad.

Fragments of two other bodies with marks of violent death were found near the Staraya Koptyakovskaya Road in July 2007. DNA tests were said to have proved that the remains were those of Alexey and Maria.