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Church must not neglect science while deciding on royal remains - House of Romanov

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July 27, 2012, 1:04 p.m. |

The Russian Orthodox Church's readiness to continue studying the circumstances of the execution of the family of the last Russian tsar Nicholas II, voiced by Patriarch Krill of Moscow and All Russia, inspires the optimism that the "Yekaterinburg remains" will be finally recognized and buried, said Ivan Artsishevsky, the House of Romanov's representative in Russia.
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ST. PETERSBURG — The Russian Orthodox Church's readiness to continue studying the circumstances of the execution of the family of the last Russian tsar Nicholas II, voiced by Patriarch Krill of Moscow and All Russia, inspires the optimism that the "Yekaterinburg remains" will be finally recognized and buried, said Ivan Artsishevsky, the House of Romanov's representative in Russia.

"This announcement at a meeting of the Holy Synod is a step forward and a response to our calls and requests. But it is sad that the Russian Orthodox Church is not ready to recognize the remains now, and only wants to continue studying them, although this inspires certain optimism," Artsishevsky told Interfax on Friday.

The House of Romanov hopes the church hierarchs will study this problem objectively and thoroughly, he said. "We hope the analysis will be based on respect for science and scientific methods, and also for the results of numerous studies, including genetic, done over the years," Artsishevsky said.

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia told the Holy Synod in Kyiv on Thursday that important information has arrived from New York, where the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia is headquartered, connected with circumstances of the death of the imperial family. "I hope these circumstances will help shape our position, including on the so-called 'Yekaterinburg remains,'" the Russian patriarch said.

Eleven people, including members of the Russian Imperial Family and people from their entourage, were shot at the Urals regional council presidium's order in the early hours of July 17, 1918.

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

The remains of two more people were discovered during archaeological excavation works 70 kilometers south of the first grave on July 26, 2007. The remains have still not been buried, but numerous expert analyses indicate that the remains were most likely those of Crown Prince Alexei and his sister Maria.

The Presidium of the Russian Supreme Court ruled to rehabilitate Nicholas II and his family members on October 1, 2008.

The Investigative Committee said in January 2011 that it had completed an investigation into the death of Nicholas II, his family members and entourage and closed the criminal case.

The Russian Orthodox Church has still not recognized the remains interred in Peter and Paul Cathedral as those of Nicholas II and his family members and entourage, claiming that it was not convinced by the proof of their authenticity that was presented.

The House of Romanov head, Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, will recognize the remains buried at the St. Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg as those of the royal family, if the Russian Orthodox Church says they are authentic, the House of Romanov spokesman Alexander Zakatov told Interfax on Thursday.

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