Only egyptians to have access to mummies
Only Egyptian archaeologists will have access to ancient Egyptian mummies while the foreigners will be allowed to examine them only in the presence and under the supervision of their Egyptian colleagues, Egyptian Culture Minister Faruq Hosni told a news conference.
Hosni was accompanied at the news conference by Secretary-General of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities, Zahi Hawass, and Ahmed Saleh, director of the antiquities of 'Mit Rahina' at the Egyptian Museum.
The conference focused on the minister's announcement of the return to Egypt of samples of the hair of great pharaoh Ramses II "withheld" by France in 1976 when the mummy was transferred there for laboratory examination.
That was the only movement of the precious remains. The purpose of the transfer was to determine the type of micro organism, which caused a great danger of destruction of the pharaoh's remains.
The French experts determined that it was a rare fungus, daedalea biennis fries. The experts saved the mummy, which was later returned to Egypt. However, one of the researchers kept the locks of hair, which soon reappeared for sale, packed in plastic bags, at an Internet auction with prices ranging from USD2,000 to USD2,500.
The hair was put up for sale by the son of the late French researcher. Egypt immediately called for the block of the auction and requested the precious remains to be returned. On the one hand Faruq Hosni thanked France for its correctness, but on the other hand he announced the limitations of the access of foreign archaeologists to Egyptian mummies.