Monday night, Michael Jackson’s elaborate, gold casket was open for viewing by family members at Forest Lawn Memorial-Park and Mortuary in Los Angeles. Tuesday, it was closed when presented to fans during the memorial tribute at the Staples Center. And now, as it awaits burial, the casket containing the King of Pop, who died June 25, sits in a temporary resting place – a Forest Lawn crypt belonging to Motown founder Berry Gordy, reports the New York Post.
But while Jackson rests, lively discussions are being held by a divided Jackson family about where to bury their golden child, according to the Post.
Brother Jermaine and father Joseph reportedly want Michael to be buried at the Neverland Ranch, where a prospective museum could generate future income, despite a likely lengthy process to transform the property into a Graceland-like tourist attraction.
Mom Nixes Neverland
Mother Katherine and the other siblings, however, are said to seek a more respectful burial ground, in keeping with Michael’s desire never to return to Neverland after he believed sheriff’s deputies had tainted the property when they sought evidence in the child-molestation case against him.
“Katherine doesn’t want him at Neverland,” a source tells PEOPLE. “She thinks it’s a place of horrible memories. She says Michael wouldn’t want to be there. Part of the family disagrees with her. But Katherine definitely wants to keep Michael’s wishes that he not rest at Neverland.”
In the matriarch’s favor is that, due to strict land-use codes, securing local government permission to bury him on private property can be a challenging and a drawn-out process taking up to a month (although sprinkling cremated remains requires only the property owner’s consent.)
So, for now, Michael Jackson remains in the Gordy crypt, which is described as a sparse, empty mausoleum highlighted by a G monogram and located on the same property as the graves for such Hollywood icons Lucille Ball, Bette Davis, Gene Autry and Sandra Dee, as well as James Bond producer Cubby Broccoli, comic Freddie Prinze and flamboyant entertainer Liberace.
• With additional reporting by SARA HAMMEL