Kazakh Culture Ministry hopes to repatriate Kenesary Khan's remains

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ASTANA. KAZINFORM - The Ministry of Culture and Sport of the Republic of Kazakhstan will continue on with the hopes of repatriating the remains of Kenesary Khan.

"I think that our heroes who devoted their lives to fight for independence of our country should be laid to rest here. I would like to note that we are now one step closer to our goal [Keiki Batyr's skull was delivered to Astana on October 6]. As for remains of Kenesary Khan, we are still working in that direction," Vice Minister of Culture Aktoty Raiymkulova told a press conference at the Central Communications Service on Thursday.

Born in 1802, Kenesary Kassymov was a renowned statesman and the last ruler of the Kazakh Khanate. He led the 1837-1846 rebellion against the Russian Empire, but was killed in 1847.

The whereabouts of his remains are still unknown. It is believed that his body was buried on the territory of the present-day Kyrgyzstan and his skull was transferred to Omsk as a trophy.

Some believe that Kenesary Khan's skull is at the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera) in Saint Petersburg, Russia. But the museum denies these claims.

Earlier it was reported that the skull of Keiki Batyr was delivered from Moscow via charter flight that landed in Astana this morning. Right now the remains are at the Ministry of Culture and Sport. Hungarian anthropologist András Biró will perform a DNA test in order to confirm Keiki Batyr's identity before he will be laid to rest.

On Wednesday political expert Berik Abdygaliuly wrote in a Facebook post that the skull of Keiki Batyr will be delivered to Kazakhstan from Moscow at 4:50 a.m. on October 6.

For many years the skull of the legendary batyr was kept at the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera).

Recall that in August 2016, Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Medvedev promised to look into the possibility of returning the skull of Keiki Batyr to Kazakhstan during his meeting with then Prime Minister of the country Karim Massimov.

Keiki Batyr's relatives waited for hours at the airport in Astana this morning, but had no chance to see the artifact.

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