ROMANOV FAMILY REMAINS UPDATE: NEW STUDY MAY TAKE THREE YEAR
In 2016, a new group of experts will be conducting a comprehensive examination of the remains of Romanov family members: Tsarevich Alexei and Grand Duchess Maria. According to Bishop Tikhon (Shevkunov), Vicar of the Patriarch of Moscow, time period of the new investigation is not being limited, and it is possible that it may take “two to three years“. “We are very grateful to the leadership of the country today -His Holiness the Patriarch was informed that there will be no deadline, no hurry, no time limit will be set for this examination,” added Shevkunov.
To the question of whether or not the examination is planned to coincide with any particular date, as was reported in the media, the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) responded that earlier there were in fact such attempts. “But now we have received assurances that the scientists will be allowed as long as necessary – let it be two, three years – these studies will be carried out professionally and comprehensively“.
Shevkunov explained that currently, with the blessing of Patriarch of Moscow Kirill, a new group of experts was created. “This is the first comprehensive examination to be carried out – historical, anthropological and genetic“. According to Shevkunov, it is very important for ROC to establish the historical truth in this matter. “Whose remains are these that are proposed to be worshipped as holy relics, could there be some intentional or unintentional mistake? There are quite a lot of questions,” he said.
The last Russian Emperor Nicholas II and his family were all murdered in 1918. The remains of five of the seven members of the Romanov family were discovered in 1991 and interred at the Peter & Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg in 1998. The remains of Tsarevich Alexei and Grand Duchess Maria were discovered in 2007 and were kept in the State Archives.
Although ROC canonized the Romanov family as saints, they did not see sufficient proof for the recognition of the authenticity of the remains. In 2015 a new examination of the remains began, as per ROC’s request.