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Former Romanian dictator's body exhumed for tests

By the CNN Wire Staff
The body of Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, reportedly photographed immediately after being executed in 1989.
The body of Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, reportedly photographed immediately after being executed in 1989.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Nicolae Ceausescu was executed by firing squad after a bloody revolution in 1989
  • His children want to be sure the body in his grave is really his
  • His remains and his wife's will undergo DNA tests
  • Ceausescu was Romania's Communist dictator for decades
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(CNN) -- A medical team exhumed the body of former Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu on Wednesday to try to ensure that the remains are really his, Romanian state media reported.

Ceausescu was executed on Christmas Day 1989 in the only post-Berlin-Wall-fall of a Communist regime in Eastern Europe that got really bloody.

His remains were "quite well preserved," his son-in-law Mircea Oprean told Romania's Pro TV.

The body of Ceausescu's wife also was unearthed, but was not in such good condition, Oprean said.

"The place where they put my mother-in-law was much more humid, so the samples were much more damaged," he said.

Elena Ceausescu was executed by firing squad along with her husband in the last anti-Communist revolution of 1989 in Eastern Europe.

Their children want to be sure that the bodies in the graves are those of the Ceausescus.

The remains will undergo DNA testing by the Institute of Legal Medicine, Romania's national news agency Agerpress reported.

Nicolae Ceausescu ruled Romania from 1965 until his death. He became infamous for his lavish lifestyle, and started to build a palace for himself in the 1980s with miles of marbles floors and thousands of crystal chandeliers.

He was toppled by revolution, tried hastily and executed before the building was completed.

Now the seat of Romania's parliament, it is the largest civilian office building in the world -- second in size only to the Pentagon.

CNN's Diana Magnay contributed to this report.

 
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