The battle between York and Leicester for the final resting for King Richard III seems already won, with the decision solely in the hands of the university experts.
The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has confirmed that it was the University of Leicester’s decision to make as they had been granted permission to exhume the monarch’s body.
It comes after York Council confirmed it was writing to the Queen and the MoJ to lay claim to the remains of the last Plantagenet king.
In a statement the Ministry of Justice said: “When applying for an archaeological exhumation licence, the applicant must state that the remains will be laid to rest at a suitable location.
“The licence we issued states that the applicant (the University of Leicester) would, no later than August 31, 2014, deposit the remains at Jewry Wall Museum or have them interred at St Martin’s Cathedral or in a burial ground in which interments may legally take place. The precise location of reburial is now for the University of Leicester.”
However city leaders in York have confirmed they are writing to the Queen and the Ministry of Justice in a bid to get the Yorkist king’s remained to his “spiritual home”.
Kersten England, chief executive of City of York Council said: “City of York Council and all its political leaders are united in the belief that York is the most fitting burial place for Richard III, one of the city’s most famous and cherished sons.”
The mayor of Leicester Sir Peter Soulsby said he could understand York’s challenge but that the decision had already been made.
He said plans are in the early stages for the re-interment ceremony at Leicester Cathedral next year, which is just yards from the social services car park where the king’s body was exhumed by a team from the University of Leicester during a dig last year.
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