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Richard III's skeleton: A royal pain to some

A facial reconstruction of King Richard III is displayed at a news conference in central London Feb. 5. (Reuters/Andrew Winning)

Not everyone was in the thrall of the University of Leicester's discovery of Richard III's skeleton when it was announced Monday following  help from the DNA collected from his Canadian descendants.

The Washington Post reports that some archeologists thought it all a little over-the-top.

“Gt fun & a mystery solved that we’ve found Richard 3,” tweeted Mary Beard, the prominent classical scholar and one of the earliest instigators of the debate. “But does it have any HISTORICAL significance? (Uni of Leics overpromoting itself?))”

Beard and Guardian culture writer Charlotte Higgins described the live press conference as a "jamboree" or "hype," the Post reports, and also cites a blog post by Neville Morley, at the University of Bristol, who wrote on Monday:

“Apparently we will discover later today whether a skeleton excavated in a Leicester car park is that of Richard III. Whoop-de-doo. Of course it must be so much better to be the Man Who Found Richard III’s Lunchbox than to be the Man Who Discovered Interesting Things About Late Medieval Spinal Injuries: heroic, romantic and interesting, rather than actually useful in the cause of developing knowledge and understanding.”

Meanwhile, the Guardian reports, the BBC is poised to move in on the Richard III extravaganza with a series of programmes on the Tudors, who defeated Richard III at Bosworth Field. The Last Days of Anne Boleyn will feature two-time Man Booker Prize winner Hillary Mantel. Mantel's Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies are being adapted for a six-part BBC series to be aired in late 2013.


READ MORE: King Richard III revealed — 3D plastic model unveiled


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