Stolen pharaoh's hair samples return home

2nd April 2007, Comments 0 comments

CAIRO, April 2, 2007 (AFP) - An Egyptian archaeological delegation returned from France on Monday with remnants of hair and bandages from one of Egypt's most famous pharaohs that were nearly sold on the Internet, the official MENA news agency reported.

CAIRO, April 2, 2007 (AFP) - An Egyptian archaeological delegation returned from France on Monday with remnants of hair and bandages from one of Egypt's most famous pharaohs that were nearly sold on the Internet, the official MENA news agency reported.

Frenchman Jean-Michel Diebolt, a 50-year-old postman living in the Alps, advertised the samples online for 2,000 euros (2,633 dollars), prompting a storm of outrage from Egypt, which is particularly sensitive to any pilfering of its heritage.

Diebolt, who was briefly arrested by police, said the samples came into his possession via his father who was part of a team of French scientists tasked with analysing the royal mummy 30 years ago.

Ramses II's mummy, which is currently housed in Cairo's Egyptian Museum, was sent to Paris in 1976 to treat a fungal infection.

The pharaoh, who reigned from 1279 to 1213 BC, was issued an Egyptian passport and was received at Paris's Le Bourget airport with a ceremony fit for a king.

The French lab where the man's father allegedly worked, the Atomic Energy Commissariat (CEA) in southeastern Grenoble, confirmed it was sent fragments of the mummy's hair, resin and bandaging for analysis in 1976 and 1977.

Ramses II is one of Egypt's most powerful pharaohs who filled the country with vast statues and monuments dedicated to himself.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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