AS campaigners battle for King Richard III’s remains to be buried in York, a city museum is enjoying a boost to visitor numbers – and has now installed its own “interim tomb” for the controversial monarch.

Since the bones of England’s last Yorkist King were discovered under a Leicester car park earlier this year, a vigorous debate has raged about whether they should be reinterred in Leicester or York.

About 100 supporters and descendants paraded through York earlier this month with the banner of King Richard III, demanding the return of his body for burial in the city.

Fifteen of his family’s relatives, calling themselves The Plantagenet Alliance, have also said they will launch a judicial review against the decisions leading to his remains being exhumed and potentially reburied in Leicester.

The controversy and publicity has helped lead to a 30 per cent increase in visitor numbers at the Richard III Museum on the City Walls at Monk Bar, says owner Mike Bennett.

“Interest in Richard III among visitors has certainly reached a high point in the 20 years since the museum opened, thanks to the discovery in Leicester,” he said.

Although we have always argued he should be returned to York for reburial, we are delighted by the way the Leicester dig has reignited interest in this period of English history.”

Now Mr Bennett has had a “tomb” installed at the museum, featuring a display which tells the story of the dig and the analysis of the skeleton by experts from the University of Leicester.

The museum, which opened in May 1993, invites visitors to decide for themselves whether King Richard is guilty of murdering his two nephews, the so-called Princes in the Tower.

Mr Bennett said the top floor of Monk Bar, where the “interim tomb” now stands, was added by King Richard himself in 1484.

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