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Columbus’ Remains Studied

December 10, 2004

SANTO DOMINGO (EFE) – Dominicanauthorities this week said they arewilling to cooperate with Spanishresearchers studying the alleged remains ofChristopher Columbus.Both Spain and the DominicanRepublic claim to be the final restinggrounds of the explorer, who visited thisCaribbean island and Central America 500years ago.Spanish academicians are insistingDNA tests be conducted on the corpseburied in the tomb Dominican authoritiesclaim contains the remains of the explorer,said Andy Mieses, Dominican director ofthe Columbus Monument in SantoDomingo.In October, scientists from GranadaUniversity in southern Spain presentedthe preliminary results of a two-yearstudy on the alleged remains buried inSeville, Spain. The remains consist ofonly 150 grams (5.3 ounces) of bone fragments,and indicate Columbus died sometimebetween the ages of 55 and 70.The researchers, however, concludedin their report that because of the deterioratedcondition of the bones in Spain, itwas necessary to compare them with theremains in Santo Domingo to determinewhich tomb actually contains the explorer’sbody.At the Columbus monument in SantoDomingo an urn purportedly contains theexplorer’s remains.Mieses said Dominican authorities arewilling to “cooperate” and there is a “positivetrend” in that direction.“I don’t see any resistance,” Miesessaid. “There are many people who agree(the study of the remains) must take place.”In his will, Columbus asked to be buriedin what is now the Dominican Republic,which he happened upon Dec. 5, 1492, duringhis first voyage to the New World.Columbus’ brother, Bartholomew,founded the city of Santo Domingo in1496, and his son, Diego, was appointedviceroy of the new Spanish colony.Mieses insists that “history irrefutablyproves” the admiral’s remains are indeed buried in the Dominican Republic.

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