St. Petersburg. June. 23rd, Interfax - - the Representative of the
Association of members of Romanov family in the Russian Federation,
the Head of the Protocol service of St. Petersburg administration, Ivan
Artsishevsky, doesn't exclude the possibility of reburying the remains of the so-called Alapaevsk martyrs, which are presently lying in China.
"We know that there exists such a problem. After the reburial of the ashes of
the widow empress Maria Fedorovna, which will take place in September, 2006, the following stage will be consisted of 'Alapaevsk martyrs', - he told to
"Interfax", making comments on critical remarks concerning Romanov
family, expressed by the Monarchic Union of Petersburg and Moscow.
In particular, monarchists think that the question of burial of the mother
of the last Russian emperor can not be viewed separately from the problem of
reburying the remains of other representatives of the Imperial family.
First of all, they consider, it is necessary to solve the problem with the
tomb of Nicholas Konstantinovich in Tashkent, and also with the remains of Romanovs, which after the execution of the Imperial family, were thrown the following day
in a mine in Alapaevsk, and then buried at the grounds of the former Russian spiritual
mission in Beijing and some in the tombs of the representatives of the Imperial family in Shanghai.
"Concerning Shanghai, unfortunately, there isn't anything positive to tell. After the
general reorganization of the city, any traces of their burial ground have been lost - the same what happened in Tashkent. In the case of Beijing too, no active steps had been undertaken yet, but as soon as possible this question will be addressed, thus allowing all of as to acknowledge the due responsibility for our common history", - said I. Artsishevsky.
At the same time, he remarked - "we are talking about extremely complex and delicate matter, which can't be resolved in a month or even a year". I. Artsishevsky also
reminded that during the negotiations with Denmark concerning the reburial of the ashes of Maria Fedorovna "many institutions have been involved, both Russian and Danish".
Grand duke Sergey Mihaylovich, grand princess Elizabeth Fedorovna, the sons of
grand duke Konstantin Konstantinovich, Ioann, Konstantin and Igor, the son
of grand duke Paul Aleksandrovich, Vladimir Paley, all have been thrown alive
in a mine near Alapaevsk in July, 1918.
During the same year the coffins with the bodies of Alapaevsk martyrs had been taken to Chita, in the Holy Protection of the Mother of God nunnery, and in 1920 the coffins with the remains of Alapaevsk martyrs were taken out of Russia through Harbin all the way to Beijing, where they were put in the church of St. Seraphim of Sarov, which in those days was located at the Russian Orthodox cemetery, just outside the city wall.
According to some information, their coffins afterwards were put to rest in a crypt of the
All Holy Martyrs church at the premises of the Russian spiritual Mission,
from where, according to the wish of Elizabeth Fedorovna's sister, princess Victoria, the bodies of the grand princess and the nun Barbara were sent to Jerusalem, and were subsequently buried at the church of Mary Magdalene, which in 1888 was consecrated in the presence of Elizabeth Fedorovna.
The coffins with the remains of the other Alapaevsk martyrs in 1957 were taken away from the grounds of the Russian spiritual Mission and put again in the Russian Orthodox cemetery at the time of the barbaric destruction of All Saints church.
Since the government of USSR didn't show any interest in the preservation of the Russian cemetery in Beijing, towards the end of the eighties the Chinese authorities destroyed the park, which was put on its place, thus whipping out everything that could serve as a reminder of the past.
In present time, owing to the work of the Russian and Chinese historians, the site of the base of All Saints church has been determined. According to the stories of the Chinese
workers, who had done the excavation work on the former cemetery, some of them saw graves, and one of the workers handed down to the Russian representatives a bronze tablet found at the burial ground of grand prince Sergey Mihaylovich, upon which an inscription bearing his name could be clearly seen. Also, according to a number of testimonies, the workers did not touch the remains, but instead covered them with earth again.