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Prague Jews Will Rebury Remains

September 8, 2000

PRAGUE, Czech Republic (AP) _ The Jewish community will rebury remains of 120 people unearthed during construction in downtown Prague at a new site to comply with religious rules, an official said Friday.

Workers found the remains when they hit a 13th century Jewish cemetery two years ago during construction of an underground garage under the building of Czech insurance company Ceska Pojistovna.

An archaeological dig started in February 1999 subsequently unearthed 120 skeletal remains, provoking strong protests from Jewish organizations at home and abroad, which saw it as a desecration of a Jewish burial site. Building at the site was suspended.

Since then there has been a debate on whether to rebury the remains at the old site under the building or at a new site.

Jiri Danicek, head of Prague’s Jewish community, said in a statement Friday that progress in the construction means the bodies cannot be reburied at the old site.

The statement said that on the recommendation of the country’s head rabbi, the Jewish community had decided to ``bury the remains at the New Prague Jewish Cemetery, where all related religious rules can be complied with without problems.″ l

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