Sunday 28 October 2012

Imminent battle for the soul, body of Richard III

Despite lack of DNA confirmation of recently dug up remains of what is suspected to be that of Richard III, a new tomb for the fifteenth century monarch may divide the British Parliament members.  
  Two members from the Labour party did not agree on a common final resting place. However, members were said to have taken time away from lawmaking and queued to have a view of the archaeological findings.
  The remains were dug up last month at a Leicester parking lot. Archaeologists found the bones beneath the site of the Grey Friars church in Leicester, central England.
Karen Ladniuk, cleaning a path made from re-used medieval tiles during an excavation of the car park in Leicester. PHOTO:
AP Photo/ University of Leicester.

  Bones unearthed during the dig have been sent for DNA testing and the experts hope that they turn out to be those of the medieval king. Sources, however, said it could take months for DNA testing to determine if the body is the king's.
  History says Richard was buried at the spot after his death in 1485. Richard's body was brought to Leicester, 100 miles (160 kms) north of London, after the king was killed in the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485.
  Meanwhile, there was an indication that issue may arise over the final resting place of the king immortalised by William Shakespeare. According to the Associated Press a Labour lawmaker John Mann has been quoted saying priory of Worksop, in Nottinghamshire, would be an ideal new tomb for Richard III, but his Labour colleague, Jon Ashworth of Leicester South disagreed. Ashworth argued: "I am sure Worksop has many fine qualities, but given it was the Grey Friars who took the body of Richard and buried him at what was then the Grey Friars' church, a site which is today just a stone's throw from Leicester Cathedral, and he has been in Leicester for 500 years, it would be most appropriate that he is finally laid to rest at Leicester Cathedral."
  AP says the team that excavated the bones has identified a direct descendant of Richard's elder sister — a 17th great-grand-nephew — and obtained a DNA swab for possible matching with any bones found at the site.

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