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St PETERSBURG, November 7. /TASS/. Members of the Romanov Family Association that unites living successors to the Russian Imperial Family believe the forthcoming exhumation of remains of Emperor Alexander III, the father of Russia’s last Emperor Nicholas II, will not mean an insult to Alexander III’s dignity, Ivan Artsishevsky, the official representative of the association told TASS on Friday.
"There’s no insult to the late Emperor in it, as the procedure observes the canons of the Russian Orthodox Church," he said adding that the Romanov Family members treated the process with understanding.
"What’s really important is to achieve the goal, which is confirmation of genuineness of the remains of Czar Nicholas II and his family," Artsishevsky said. "The Romanov family took a decision once in the past to assist the Russian Orthodox Church in every possible manner in what concerns the identification of the remains."
"The former head of the association, Nikolai Romanovich, and the current head, Dmitry Romanovich have spoken about it at meetings with the Patriarch," he said. "Once we took a decision to render assistance, we’re rendering it now."
The Romanov Family Association was founded in 1979 by seven dukes and duchesses of Imperial descent who were successors to Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolayevich, the grandson of Emperor Nicholas I. Its incumbent head is Dmitry Romanovich Romanov.
Preparations for exhumation of Alexander III’s remains began on November 3 when government officials, representatives of the Investigations Committee of Russia and clerics of the Russian Orthodox Church held a meeting behind closed doors in St Petersburg.
Earlier this autumn, the Investigations Committee resumed investigation of a criminal case over the slaying of members of the Romanov Imperial Family that was initially instituted in 1993 after the finding of a collective burial site near Yekaterinburg (formerly Sverdlovsk) in the Urals, which contained the bones supposedly of Nicholas II, his spouse Empress Alexandra and their children.
The remains of Czar Nicholas and Czarina Alexandra were exhumed from their tombs in the Cathedral of St Peter and Paul in St Petersburg at the end of September. In October, Patriarch Kirill I asked the government to do comparative genetic studies of the remains of Czar Nicholas and his father, Alexander III.
The Russian Orthodox Church believes positive findings of these forensic studies will provide an incontestable proof of the genuineness of remains of the slain last Russian Czar and his family.