Remains of Don Quixote author Cervantes found

(AGI) Madrid, March 17 - After four centuries of research,Spanish scientists said on Tuesday that remains found under aMadrid convent are likely to include those of "Don Quixote"author Miguel de Cervantes. The quest to find Cervantes had ledinvestigators deep into the sub-soil of the Trinitarian Conventin Madrid, where the remains of the author were lost between1698 and 1730 when the convent was rebuilt. The bones of hiswife Catalina de Salazar were also found. Historians said thefind still has to be verified, but ensured that there were manyclues that the remains belong

(AGI) Madrid, March 17 - After four centuries of research,Spanish scientists said on Tuesday that remains found under aMadrid convent are likely to include those of "Don Quixote"author Miguel de Cervantes. The quest to find Cervantes had ledinvestigators deep into the sub-soil of the Trinitarian Conventin Madrid, where the remains of the author were lost between1698 and 1730 when the convent was rebuilt. The bones of hiswife Catalina de Salazar were also found. Historians said thefind still has to be verified, but ensured that there were manyclues that the remains belong to Cervantes and his wife."Everything coincides to lead us to believe that Cervantes isthere," said Francisco Etxeberria, the pathologist of the teamthat has been working for months in the convent and who madethe announcement during a press conference. But DNA tests willhave to rule out the remaining uncertainty. The Trinitarianreligious order had helped to pay a ransom to release Cervantesfrom slavery after he was captured by Moorish pirates. Theremains of several adults and children were uncovered in thesearch, many of whom suffered from rachitis. Recently,fragments of a coffin had been found with the letters 'M' and'C' inscribed on them. Cervantes died in 1616 (in the same weekWilliam Shakespeare died) and the exact location of the gravewas lost in the years the convent was reconstructed. Accordingto researchers, his remains were moved from the original burialsite when reconstruction work on the church in the Madridsuburb of las Letras started in 1673. DNA tests are alreadyunderway and the mayor of Madrid, Ana Botella, has announcedplans to open the site to visitors. The main doubt that remainsis the fact that none of the found bones bear the marks of themany injuries suffered by Cervantes during his life, includinga wound to his left arm he sustained during the Battle ofLepanto in 1571. . .