Relative Urges Burial
of Last Tsar's Children

The last Russian Imperial family, Grand Duchess Maria and the Tsarevich Alexei identified by red circles

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A relative of the murdered Russian royal family has called for the remains of two of the last tsar's children to be buried, the Izvestia newspaper reported on Thursday.

Nicholas Romanov, who heads a group of royal family members called the Romanov Family Association, criticized the delay in burying the remains of Grand Duchess Maria and Tsarevich Alexei, found in 2007.

"Among the problems that deeply worry me and all the Romanovs in our association, is the burial of the heir Alexei and Grand Duchess Maria," Romanov said in a statement published in the Izvestia daily.

"It's terrible that their remains are being stored somewhere," he said.

The bones of the two children, killed by Bolshevik agents in 1918 along with their father Tsar Nicholas II and the rest of his immediate family, are kept in a refrigerator in the city of Yekaterinburg, said prosecutor Vladimir Solovyov.

Solovyov, who oversaw Russia's official investigation into the massacre of the Romanovs, agreed the bones should be buried.

"There would be highly symbolic justice in finding and committing to the ground two more victims, a wonderful, innocent boy and girl," Solovyov told Izvestia.

Russian investigators announced last year that DNA tests had identified the remains as belonging to Maria and Alexei, whose bodies were separated from the others by the Bolsheviks and burned in an apparent cover-up attempt.

However, the Russian Orthodox Church, which has canonized all the members of the last tsar's family, and some descendants of the Romanovs refuse to recognize the findings.

The remains of the other members of the last tsar's family were reburied in 1998 in St. Petersburg.

Agence France-Presse
12 November, 2009