At the Catherine cemetery of Vyazma in the Smolensk region on Saturday, February 13, the remains of 126 people who died in these places during the retreat of Napoleon’s army in November 1812 were reburied.
The remains were discovered in 2019 during a Russian-French archaeological expedition organized by the Foundation for the Development of Russian-French Historical Initiatives.
The ceremony was attended by French diplomats, representatives of the princes Murat (descendants of Napoleon’s marshal Joachim Murat) and the Romanov imperial house, as well as about a hundred reenactors in military uniforms of 1812 and a company of the guard of honor.
During the ceremony, Russian and French hymns were sounded, a liturgy was held with the participation of Orthodox and Catholic priests.
As President of the Foundation for the Development of Russian-French Historical Initiatives Pierre Malinovsky told Izvestia yesterday, the remains of 120 soldiers and six civilians, including three women and three children, were found.
According to him, in 1812 the soldiers did not have identification numbers and it is now impossible to find out their names. From the remains of the uniform, it was only possible to determine that half of them were Russian, and half were French.
A memorial monument was erected at the burial site.