400 Years Later, Spain May Have Found 'Don Quixote' Author's Grave Archaeologists in Madrid may have discovered the long-lost remains of Miguel de Cervantes. NPR's Scott Simon asks whether or not the bones are his, and if they'll attract tourists to the site.

400 Years Later, Spain May Have Found 'Don Quixote' Author's Grave

400 Years Later, Spain May Have Found 'Don Quixote' Author's Grave

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Archaeologists in Madrid may have discovered the long-lost remains of Miguel de Cervantes. NPR's Scott Simon asks whether or not the bones are his, and if they'll attract tourists to the site.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Friends, noblemen and women, do put down your coffee for just a moment as we pay tribute to that patriarch of prose, the nurturer of the novel, that man of La Mancha - or Madrid, at any rate - Miguel de Cervantes, the father of the modern novel "Don Quixote." A team of Spanish archaeologists believe they may have found the remains of Cervantes almost 400 years after his death. Historical records have long indicated that he was buried under a convent in Madrid. The city's council financed a year-long search - an impossible dream you may call it - to establish just that fact. Now, did they find the great Spanish writer? Perhaps. They found a common grave with the remains of 15 other people. They hope that Cervantes is among them. Whether or not the discovery will bring new literary pilgrims and tourist euros to Madrid remains to be seen. People can also buy "Don Quixote" and uncover Cervantes page to page on a trip to Las Vegas. But at least one knight errant would've continued to believe in the romance of fiction, rising from a pile of bones.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSICAL, "MAN OF LA MANCHA")

O'TOOLE: (As Don Quixote) (Singing) When your arms are too weary to reach the unreachable star. Oh, this is my quest, to follow that star...

SIMON: Oh, the king.

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