"--IANS/EFE"
Madrid, June 10 (IANS/EFE) Researchers searching for the remains of Miguel de Cervantes, the author of the classic Don Quixote, in the church of the Trinitarian convent in Madrid have found five places where he could be buried.

Out of the five places, the researchers will begin with the crypt as it is the easiest to access.

The study of the structure and subsoil of the church where the iconic Spanish literary figure 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 was justifiable.

Some 30 niches have been detected in the crypt, but in case Cervantes was not laid to rest in any of them, work would start on the next phase, which would include excavations in the nave of the church where double burials were detected, a detail that Fernando de Prado told Efe was 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 April 28 this year using infrared radiation and geophysical radar mapping of the Trinitarian nuns' convent church, located in the historic Letras neighbourhood 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.

--IANS/EFE

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