Russian historian charged with grave robbing after police discover "gruesome tableau" of 29 mummified bodies in his home

A man identified as Russian historian Anatoly Moskvin has been charged with desecrating graveyards after Russian police found 29 mummified bodies dressed in bright clothes and posed like dolls in a "gruesome tableau" in his home.

The national daily Moskovsky Komsomolets said Moskvin was detained at a cemetery while carrying a bag of bones. But Kriminalnaya Khronika, an online publication specialising in crime news from the Nizhny Novgorod region, said police investigators had discovered the bodies when they visited Moskvin to consult him about the desecration.

Moskvin, who had long been known in the region for his interest in the dead, wrote several articles about cemeteries in the region. A linguistic expert by training, he specialised in Celtic culture and studied 13 foreign languages....

In a 2007 interview with the newspaper Nizhegorodsky Rabochy, or Nizhny Novgorod Worker, Moskvin said he had inspected 752 cemeteries, often travelling 20 miles a day by foot.

Last month he wrote a piece for a publication on necrology to explain his interest in the dead. He said that when he was 12, he came across a funeral procession whose participants forced him to kiss the face of a dead 11-year-old girl. He said he later grew interested in the occult.

Russian historian kept 29 mummified bodies at home, police say