Polish President and First Lady reburied at Wawel
PR dla Zagranicy
Lech and Maria Kaczyński, the Polish presidential couple who died in the 2010 Smolensk plane crash, were laid to rest for a second time on Friday at Wawel Cathedral in Kraków, in Poland's south.
Funeral procession for Polish presidential couple Lech and Maria Kaczyński. Photo: PAP/Grzegorz Momot.
Jarosław Kaczyński, twin brother of the late Lech and leader of the governing Law and Justice (PiS) party, and Marta Kaczyńska, the daughter of the deceased couple, were among the 50 in attendance at the closed ceremony.
Polish President Andrzej Duda, Prime Minister Beata Szydło and other top PiS politicans were also at the reburial.
After a Roman Catholic service, the remains of the Kaczyńskis were placed in a new sarcophagus.
Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz, the Archbishop of Kraków, said at the reburial that Wawel Cathedral was a place of national remembrance and that the Smolensk disaster could not be memorialised anywhere else.
The remains of the Kaczyńskis were exhumed on Monday as part of a new investigation into the causes of the crash on 10 April 2010 in western Russia, which killed all 96 people on board the Polish presidential plane.
The new probe was launched after PiS came to power in Poland last year. PiS politicians have challenged a report under the previous Polish government which concluded the crash was an accident.
The bodies of Lech and Maria Kaczyński were the first to be exhumed as part of the new investigation. A total of 83 of the disaster victims – all those whose remains were not cremated – will be exhumed in a process that is expected to last until next autumn and winter.
Forensic tests on the bodies of the Kaczyńskis were carried out at the Jagiellonian University in southern Poland by a 14-strong team of Polish, Danish, Swiss and Portuguese experts. (vb/pk)
Source: IAR, PAP