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The wife of Emperor Alexander III will be reburied in St. Petersburg September 28
The wife of Emperor Alexander III, interred in Copenhagen after her death 78 years ago, will be reburied in St. Petersburg September 28, Russia's top culture official said Tuesday. The governments of Russia and Denmark agreed last year that Empress Maria Fyodorovna's remains should be returned to St. Petersburg to be re-interred in the Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral next to the remains of her husband and other members of the Romanov dynasty. "The interdepartmental working group for the reburial of Empress Maria Fyodorovna held its final session today to sum up the results of two years' work," Culture and Mass Communications Minister Alexander Sokolov said. He said the group had finalized documentation including a memorandum of understanding with Denmark's Foreign Ministry. The empress' remains will be brought to St. Petersburg by ship September 26, 2006, and reburied two days later at the cathedral in the city's landmark Peter and Paul Fortress, which houses the remains of almost all Russia's pre-Revolutionary rulers from Peter the Great onwards. Danish Princess Marie Sophie Frederikke Dagmar (1847-1928), baptized a Lutheran, took the name Maria Fyodorovna when she converted to the Orthodoxy before marrying Alexander III. Her father became King of Denmark six days after her wedding. Despite the overthrow of the monarchy in 1917, Empress Maria did not leave Russia for her native Denmark until 1919. Maria Fyodorovna's son - Russia's last emperor, Nicholas II - and her daughter-in-law and grandchildren were killed by the Bolsheviks in 1918, but until her death, she refused to acknowledge the massacre had ever taken place. On July 17, 1998 the remains of the emperor, his family and servants were reburied in the chapel of St. Great Martyr Catherine in the Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral.
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