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$55,000 allocated to investigation of tsar family remains site

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YEKATERINBURG, June 26 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Sverdlovsk Region has allocated 1.3 million rubles ($55,000) to continue excavations at the purported burial site of the last tsar's family, regional authorities said Thursday.

"The decision to allocate funds was adopted after a visit by Russian Prosecutor General's Office investigator Vladimir Solovyov, who is investigating this case," regional government head Viktor Koksharov said, adding that the total sum allocated to identify the remains was 5.3 million rubles ($224,500).

The Sverdlovsk Region is located around the city of Yekaterinburg in the Urals.

The remains of a boy and a young woman were exhumed last year near Yekaterinburg, where Tsar Nicholas II, his wife, their four daughters and son, and several servants, were shot by the Bolsheviks in 1918. They are believed to belong to Nicholas II's son and heir, Alexis, and his daughter Maria.

An Investigation Committee spokesman said Tuesday an examination of the remains had established that they belong to members of Tsar Nicholas II's family.

"It has been established that the remains belong to a boy of about 12-14 years of age and a girl aged 17-19," Vladimir Markin said.

He added that DNA analysis has been conducted in Russia and the United States.

"The results of the examination are being assessed by investigators and will be made public in the second half of July," he said.

Archaeologists said earlier they plan to resume excavations this summer.

The remains of the tsar and other family members were discovered near Yekaterinburg in 1991. They were authenticated and buried in the St. Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg in 1998, although the forensic results have since been challenged.

The Russian Orthodox Church, which has canonized the murdered Romanov family, called the 1998 burial "a political show."

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