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article imageSpain searches for the body of Miguel de Cervantes

By Amanda Payne     Feb 23, 2014 in Entertainment
Madrid - Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, author of Spain's most famous novel 'Don Quixote,' died a poor man despite the huge success of the work and was buried in a convent in Madrid.
The exact whereabouts of his grave has been unknown until now, although it was believed he was buried in Las Trinitarias convent in the Las Letras district of Madrid.
Now, scientists have been given the go ahead to search for the body of Cervantes using specialist georadar equipment, which finds and measures underground cavities. According to El Pais, evidence has existed since 1870 that there are undiscovered burial sites at the convent, including that of an adult man. A source told the newspaper "Under the main altar of the convent's old church, where Mass was celebrated, it is known that there are three people buried there -- a woman, a young child and an adult man."
Cervantes died in Madrid on April 23, 1616 (the same day as William Shakespeare) at the age of 69. He had been wounded at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 with a gunshot wound to the chest. He also had damage to the bones of his left hand. These injuries would help to identify any remains found. He had one daughter, so if any descendants can be found, a DNA sample could also help to identify the body.
Miguel de Cervantes is Spain's most famous author but he had a complicated life, spending time in the military and acting as a government official in Seville. He spent time in the jail in Seville on at least two occasions and was struggling constantly to earn enough money to keep his family.The first part of his famous novel Don Quixote (pronounced don kee-ho-tay) was not published until he reached the age of 57. It was a instant success and he went on to publish the second part in 1615. The two parts were joined into one volume in 1617 and the novel has been translated into more than 60 languages since then.
The heritage department of the Madrid region is in charge of the operation to find the great man's body, the exhumation and scientific investigation of the remains and the reburial. Around 12,000 euros have been allocated to the project.
More about Spain, Miguel de Cervantes, Don quixote, Madrid
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