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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Mobile Lab Reaches Urals to Test Tsar's Bones

With the custody of the remains of the last tsar still up in the air, a special railway car equipped as a forensic laboratory arrived Friday in Yekaterinburg in the Ural Mountains, where experts will carry out further studies on the bones of Nicholas II and his family.

The train was originally to have brought the remains back to Moscow, but Yekaterinburg's governor objected, fearing they would never be returned.

Natalya Veshnyakova, an official with the Prosecutor General's Office in Moscow, did not rule out the possibility that the train would take the remains to Moscow. She said some tests can only be performed in the capital.

In the meantime, experts will do tests to confirm the remains' identity and determine whether they are transportable, she said.

Yekaterinburg is competing with Moscow and St. Petersburg to be the final resting place of the royal remains and reap the resulting prestige and tourist dollars. The Russian Orthodox Church is still deciding whether to proclaim the family as saints, but some believers already revere them as such.

DNA testing and other forensic analysis have already shown that the remains, exhumed from an unmarked grave in 1991 outside Yekaterinburg, belong to the royal family.

Nicholas, his wife, Alexandra, their five children and four servants were executed by a Bolshevik firing squad on July 17, 1918.