Hundreds of people have paid their respects to notorious Australian bushranger Ned Kelly at a requiem mass – more than 132 years after he died.

Kelly, one of the world's most famous outlaws, will be buried in an unmarked grave in Victoria this weekend. His crimes in the 1800s included a string of armed robberies and murders, and he was hanged in 1880 for shooting dead three policemen while on the run from authorities.

His remains were finally identified in 2011, when DNA from one of his descendents was matched with bones which were found in the ruins of a Melbourne jail.

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A row broke out over who had the rights to the remains but Kelly's relatives won and he will be buried in an unmarked grave tomorrow.

The 500-strong crowd at yesterday's service, at St Patrick's Church, Wangaratta, north-east Victoria, heard Bible readings from some of those relatives, who had asked for privacy ahead of the funeral.

The large crowd showed that the legend of Ned Kelly remains popular, but the Victorian Police Association says it hopes the site will not become a shrine to a glorified criminal.