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Search begins for Miguel de Cervantes

26th July 2011

Historians and archaeologists have begun a search for the remains of Don Quixote author Miguel de Cervantes as they aim to establish what the acclaimed writer looked like.

It is believed that by finding the bones of Cervantes, which are buried in the walls or floors of a convent in central Madrid, experts may be able to reconstruct his face and determine more accurately what he looked like.

Until now, the only portrait of Cervantes is one painted by the artist Juan de Jauregui more than 20 years after the author's death, which many claim is unlikely to be accurate.

Historian Fernando Prado said the discovery of the author's remains may also help historians to establish whether he drank himself to an early grave, as is the common belief.

'They may not just help us to discover what he looked like, but also why he died. It is said that he was very ill late in life, but that is also when he was very productive as an author,' Mr Prado explained.

By using geo-radar technology to penetrate the walls of the convent, archaeologists are confident they can locate Cervantes' bones by 2016, when a global celebration is planned to commemorate the 400th anniversary of his death.

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