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Cold water poured on Richard III remains claim

By The Citizen  |  Posted: March 28, 2014

A reconstruction of Richard III's head is on show in Gloucester where mayor Chris Chatterton has given a talk on the monarch

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COLD water has been poured on claims human remains found under a car park in Leicester are of Kind Richard III.

With a hugely successful Richard III festival in full swing in Gloucester, Winchester University professor Michael Hicks has questioned DNA evidence used to prove the remains found two years ago were of the Monarch.

He died in the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, suffering 10 injuries – l and Leicester University said it had “proved beyond reasonable doubt” the remains under Greyfriars car park were his thanks to DNA evidence.

But Prof Hicks told The Independent: “If mitochrondrial DNA doesn’t change over time, descendants in the female line from Richard’s maternal grandmother, great-grandmother, great-grandmother, great-great-grandmother can share the same characteristics.

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“There is potentially a considerable pool of people who could meet the scientific criteria without being Richard III. We are going way beyond the available evidence if we say this is definitely Richard III. It could be – but it is not proven and we should not confuse possibilities or probabilities with certainties.”

In a statement, Leicester University said: “The strength of the identification is that different kinds of evidence all point to the same result.

“Professor Hicks is entitled to his views but we would challenge and counter them.”

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  • Kay_Powell  |  March 31 2014, 12:18AM

    This Professor Michael Hicks isn't too clued-up. While it is true that it would be possible for the skeleton to be of some relative of Richard III, he would have to show that a male relative of Richard, with a similar spinal defect, was killed and buried there at about the same time that Richard's body was said to have been buried in that location. How likely is that?

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