Posted Feb 07, 2013 09:55 pm CST
Slain more than 500 years ago on a British battlefield, King Richard III was recently determined to have been unceremoniously buried in nearby Leicester without a coffin.
Now that his bones have been identified after being excavated from beneath a parking lot, two cities are vying to claim possession of his remains, the Associated Press reports.
Although Leicester officials say all the arrangements have been made to re-inter the former monarch regally in the city’s cathedral, opponents argue that this was virtually foreign territory for Richard III, who is still a household name largely due to being portrayed as a villain by a Shakespeare play.
Better that he should be laid to rest in York, many observers say, where he was considered a local king. The York City Council is petitioning the government and Queen Elizabeth II, seeking their support for a plan that would bring the remains of Richard III there.
“Leicester was a very big stronghold of the house of Lancaster, Richard’s rivals for the throne,” said Michael Ormrod, a medieval history professor at the University of York. “He was buried almost in enemy territory in Leicester.”
CNN: “Richard III: Is this the face that launched 1,000 myths?”
Guardian: “Richard III: DNA confirms twisted bones belong to king”
New York Times (reg. req.): “Bones Under Parking Lot Belonged to Richard III”
Wall Street Journal (sub. req.): “Remains Confirmed as King Richard III’s”