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Whale Fossil Stuck In Egypt Customs Wrangle

Sat Jul 31, 2010 6:36 am

This is too bizarre for words. First of all the whale is called Basilosaurus (shades of Basil Fawlty) and second it is stuck going BACK to Egypt not coming out as I supposed reading the headline.

For the past two years Prof Gingerich and his team have been painstakingly reassembling the skeleton back in Michigan. It is now being returned to Egypt for a new museum, planned for the Valley of the Whales.

But according to the Egyptian media the whale skeleton is stuck at Cairo airport.

Customs agents are demanding a $40,000 fee.

It is not clear how they came to that figure as prehistoric fossils have no agreed market value.

Ministry of funny walks, please come to the front counter and assist!

Prof Gingerich joked that it had taken two and a half years to be allowed to export the fossil to the United States, and it could take another two and a half years to get it back.

He looks like needing a sense of humour.

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