France to return 'pharaoh's hair' to Egypt

26th February 2007, Comments 0 comments

GRENOBLE, France, Feb 26, 2007 (AFP) - France is to hand over to Egypt a lock of hair said to belong to the mummy of Ramses II that was put on sale on the Internet last year, French officials said Monday.

GRENOBLE, France, Feb 26, 2007 (AFP) - France is to hand over to Egypt a lock of hair said to belong to the mummy of Ramses II that was put on sale on the Internet last year, French officials said Monday.

Egyptian diplomats made a formal request last week to recover the hair, which was seized by French police after going on sale in November, according to the prosecutor's office in the eastern city of Grenoble.

Tiny fragments of hair, embalming resin and bandages allegedly taken from the mummy of Ramses II came to light after they were put on sale in an Internet ad -- provoking outrage among the authorities in Egypt.

The seller, a 50-year-old Frenchman, claimed the lot belonged to his father who was part of a team of scientists who analysed the royal mummy when it was sent to France in 1976 for electromagnetic treatment against decay.

The mummifed body of Ramses II, who reigned from 1279 to 1213 BC, was the most important ever to leave Egyptian soil.

At the time, samples of its hair, resin and bandaging were collected from fragments that fell from its shroud in transport and sent to various laboratories around France for analysis.

French authorities recently wrapped up a judicial investigation into the case, but are not expected to press charges against the seller, according to deputy state prosecutor Luc Fontaine.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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