Cities to discuss Richard III's burial

March 13, 2013 at 12:07 AM
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LONDON, March 13 (UPI) -- The cities of York and Leicester should discuss where the remains of King Richard III should be buried, British Justice Minister Jeremy Wright said Tuesday.

Wright, during a parliamentary discussion, said he would serve as a mediator, The (York) Press reported.

The government has taken the position that the University of Leicester, which identified bones found under a Leicester car park as those of the last English king to die in battle, should decide where to re-inter the remains. But some members of Parliament say the decision should be an official one since Richard was head of state.

The leading candidates are Leicester Cathedral and York Minster, although there is also a push for Barnard Castle in County Durham, where Richard lived for several years. Richard's only strong connection to Leicester is that the Battle of Bosworth Field was fought nearby, while he governed northern England from York while his brother was king.

Officials at York Minster reported Tuesday they have received threatening letters over the cathedral's claim to Richard's remains.

Hugh Bayley, who represents York in Parliament, said he welcomed Wright's proposal for a discussion but that the government should make the decision if the two cities cannot agree. He said he has also received "angry and abusive" mail.

"I have no time for that -- we are talking about the last resting place of a king of England and we need a respectful conversation, although it does show how public feeling is running very strongly."

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