MADRID – Researchers searching for the remains of Miguel de Cervantes in the church of the Trinitarian convent in Madrid have found five places where he could be buried, including the church crypt, where they will begin looking since it is the area most easily accessible.
The study of the structure and subsoil of the church where Miguel de Cervantes was buried in 1616 was presented Monday to a crowded press conference at Cibeles Palace, at which geophysical radar mapping expert Luis Avial, historian Fernando de Prado and forensic scientist Francisco Etxeberria insisted once again that continuing the project is justifiable.
Besides the crypt “of a much bigger size than expected,” Etxeberria said, another four spots containing bones have been detected in the church, but the researchers plan to begin with the crypt since of all five points, that will be the easiest place to make an analysis.
Some 30 niches have been detected in the crypt, but in case Cervantes was not laid to rest in any of them, work will start on the next phase, which will include excavations in the nave of the church where double burials have been detected, a detail that Fernando de Prado told Efe is significant because the wife of the writer, Catalina de Salazar, was also buried in that church.
But another obstacle remains – the reluctance of the 13 cloistered nuns living in the Trinitarian convent to allow the exploration of their church, a conflict which, Etxeberria believes, can be resolved “through dialogue.”
Once the permits are obtained, a team of 10 technicians will access the crypt, perforate a wall and inspect the niches.
The project was started last April 28 using infrared radiation and geophysical radar mapping of the Trinitarian nuns’ convent church, located in the historic Letras neighborhood of Madrid, and came up with a 3D map presented Monday that identifies the five places where the creator of “Don Quixote” could have been buried.