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30 Apr, 2008 09:11

Tsar’s children’s remains are real: U.S. scientists

According to scientists from the University of Massachusetts in the U.S., DNA tests have shown that bone fragments exhumed in central Russia belong to children of the late Russian Tsar Nicholas II. They are said to be from the heir, Prince Aleksey, and hi

Meanwhile, Russian Orthodox Church says it will recognise the fact that the remains of all the Russia's Royal family have been found only when it is officially confirmed by the scientists.

Researchers dug up the bone shards last year near the place where Bolsheviks executed the Tsar, his family and several servants in 1918.

The remains of Nicholas II, the Empress Aleksandra and three of their daughters were found in 1991 and DNA testing later confirmed their identities. But the remains of Nicholas' heir, Crown Prince Aleksey and his sister, Maria, weren’t among them.

The first attempts to find the remains of the royal family started back in 1976. Then archaeologists discovered three human skulls, but it was kept secret and the Soviet authorities ordered them to be reburied.
In 1991 the burial place was excavated and tests were carried out. They suggested the chances were that the bones belonged to the family of the Tsar. However, not all the family were there as the remains of the two members were still missing.
This went to fuel the rumours that two of the Tsar’s children had survived – and people from all over the world claimed to be those royal offspring.

Mystery or coincidence?

The announcement comes on the same day as a fire broke out in a monastery in the Ganina Yama area in Yekaterinburg, where the remains of the Tsar and his family were discovered.

It took two hours for 20 firefighters to bring the blaze under control. It spread over 300 square metres, although no-one is believed to have been injured.

The second floor of the monastery's shop, which has burned down completely, housed a museum of the history of the tsar's family and Russian Orthodox warriors. It contained pictures of the family, a model of the house where the Romanovs were killed, icons, books, and old military uniforms.

The cause of the incident is not yet known.