Australia, UK in court over artifacts

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The Australian and British governments today will be pitted against each other in a heavyweight court battle over whether scientists can conduct tests on Aboriginal remains.

The Australian Government yesterday announced it would seek to join the legal fight to stop researchers at London's Natural History Museum testing the skulls and bones of 17 Tasmanian Aborigines.

It will apply to be part of a court battle beginning late today in the British High Court, when the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre (TAC) applies to have a temporary ban on testing made permanent.

The TAC last week won an interim injunction in London to stop the museum testing the remains amid fears they could be damaged.

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