The discovery of a sarcophagus in an English parish church may have brought experts a step closer to solving the centuries-old literary debate over who really wrote the plays of William Shakespeare.The 17th monument was built by Fulke Greville, a writer and contemporary of Shakespeare who some believe is the true author of several of the Bard's works.
Parishioners at St Mary's church in Warwick are now said to have sought permission to examine the contents of the monument.
The search began after a historian found clues in Greville's writings that suggested that he had several manuscripts buried there, including a copy of Antony and Cleopatra.
According to reports, a radar scan of the sarcophagus has already indicated the presence inside of three "box like" shapes.
Those involved in the search think that these could contain documents, and a further examination is now being proposed believing that it will finally prove the link between Greville and Shakespeare.
The initial search, using ground-penetrating radar, was approved by the parochial church council and the diocesan council. The researchers now want to use an endoscope a tiny video camera on a long thin tube to be inserted into the monument to test his claims.
The parochial council also wants the sarcophagus to be opened because it believes that any new evidence will bring extra visitors and save the church from bankruptcy.
"St Mary's is a beautiful church but is in desperate financial straits. Any manuscripts that are found would safeguard its future," the Telegraph quoted a spokesman as saying.
However, the new search is being resisted by the diocesan advisory committee and the Church Buildings Council on "ethical grounds".
A final decision is expected to be taken by the diocese's consistory court.