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Plans for the tomb of Richard III unveiled: The Church of England Newspaper, July 28, 2013 p 6 August 1, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Church of England, Church of England Newspaper.
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Architects van Heyningen and Haward design for the tomb of Richard III. Image: Diocese of Leicester

Leicester Cathedral will spend £1 million on the construction of the tomb of the last Plantagenet king, Richard III. On 21 July the diocese announced the cathedral will modify its interior, installing a raised tomb, a new floor, lighting and new stained glass windows.

Last week the firm van Heyningen and Haward architects on behalf of the cathedral shared copies of the proposed plans with representatives from the Richard III Society, the University of Leicester and the City Council. The proposal will next be submitted to the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England, and if approved, work could commence as early as November.

The remains of the king, who died in the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, were discovered by archaeologists under a city car park last year. The decision to intern Richard in Leicester Cathedral has been challenged by the group called The Plantagenet Alliance, which in March petitioned the government to move the burial to York. They claimed that 15 members of the Alliance were descendants of Richard’s sister and, therefore, under the European Convention on Human Rights should have a say in the burial.

A spokesman for the University of Leicester, which received a licence from the Ministry of Justice to excavate the remains has rejected the Alliance’s call to move the bones to York and has backed the plan to keep the king in Leicester.

The Dean of Leicester, the Very Rev David Monteith, said the plans were influenced by feedback from a variety of sources, including members of the public who had been visiting the Cathedral and commenting in the media. “We are committed to re-inter King Richard with honour and we have listened carefully to the different views that were expressed. We want to create a really wonderful space in the Cathedral for him and the many thousands of people we know will want to come to visit and pay their respects.

The Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Rev Tim Stevens stated this had been an “immensely complex project and we are determined to get it right. Inevitably that means considerable expense but we are confident that with the support of the Church and the public, we can honour Richard and his story.”

The dean told the BBC that raising the funds for construction would be a challenge, “but money follows vision and I think we have a great vision for the cathedral and Leicester has a great vision for honouring King Richard.”

“Those two things combined I think will mean people will be generous and want to be part of this,” he explained.

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