Experts confirm bodies of last tsar’s children disfigured

June 28th, 2008 - 3:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Tomsk (Russia), June 28 (RIA Novosti) Forensic experts have confirmed that remains believed to belong to the children of Russia’s last tsar were burnt and then soaked in sulfuric acid to make identification unlikely. The bones, thought to be those of prince Alexei and his elder sister Maria, were found in July 2007 near the Urals city of Yekaterinburg, where the tsar’s family and several servants were shot by the Bolsheviks in 1918.

It was thought that only nine of the 11 bodies were covered in sulfuric acid, which was used to disfigure the bodies to render identification impossible and to prevent them from becoming the objects of veneration.

Although remains of the tsar and other family members were discovered near Yekaterinburg in 1991, the bodies of Alexei and Maria were not found, fueling a legend that some of the family survived the massacre.

“It has been established that the remains belong to a boy of about 12-14 years old and 150 cm tall and a young woman 159 cm tall,” said an expert with an identification centre, Viktor Zvyagin.

Alexei was 13 years old at the time of the killings, and Maria, 19.

The bodies found in 1991 were buried in the St. Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg in 1998, although the DNA tests confirming that they were Romanov remains have since been challenged.

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

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in World |