Richard III tomb design unveiled in Leicester

image copyrightvan Heyningen and Haward
image captionThe design has gone through a series of changes but the cathedral said it was "deeply respectful"
image copyrightvan Heyningen and Haward
image captionLarge parts of the cathedral have been reordered to accommodate the tomb
image copyrightvan Heyningen and Haward
image captionThe cathedral has always stressed it wanted the building to remain primarily a place of worship

The design of the tomb King Richard III will be reburied in at Leicester Cathedral has been unveiled.

The wooden coffin will be made by Michael Ibsen, a distant relative of Richard III, while the tomb will be made of Swaledale fossil stone, quarried in North Yorkshire.

The total cost of reburial is £2.5m and work will start in the summer.

The Very Reverend David Monteith, Dean of Leicester, said the design "evokes memory and is deeply respectful".

Judges ruled his remains, found under a Leicester car park in 2012, would be reinterred in Leicester, following a judicial review involving other people with genetic links to the king who wanted him buried in York.

A new visitor centre is set to open in July, which will tell the story of the king's life, his brutal death in Battle in 1485 and rediscovery of his remains.

'King Richard's story'

Dean Monteith said: "This is a tomb which reflects the era in which it is designed, as well as the solemn purpose for which it is commissioned.

"To do anything else would be a pastiche of a medieval tomb and would ignore the fact he is being reburied in the 21st Century. That is part of King Richard's story now".

In a change from earlier designs, the tomb will sit on a a dark plinth of Kilkenny stone, carved with King Richard's name, dates, motto and coat of arms.

Marion Hare, vice chairman of the Richard III Society, said: "I like the modernity of the design, the way it represents the era in which he was rediscovered.

"I'm not so sure about the deeply cut cross but I see that they want to show he is not actually within the tomb."

But Philippa Langley, who proposed an alternate tomb design, said the cross made a "mockery" of the king's piety and his violent end.

Cathedral authorities said they would be starting a fundraising appeal in the near future.

It is expected Richard's remains will be laid to rest in spring 2015.

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