Ramses II's hair returning to Egypt

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CAIRO -- Egypt sent an archaeological team to France on Thursday to retrieve 3,200-year-old strands of hair from the mummy of Pharaoh Ramses II, who presided over an era of great military expansion in Egypt, state media said.

The existence of the hair came to light last year when some of the strands were offered for sale on the Internet for between 2,000 and 2,500 euros ($2,668 and $3,336), in addition to tiny pieces of resin and embalmed cloth taken from the mummy.

The seller had said he obtained the relics from his deceased father, who had worked in a French laboratory entrusted with analysing and restoring the body of Ramses in the 1970s. He had offered to provide certificates of authenticity to buyers.

French archaeologists had reacted with horror to news that the hairs were on sale and French authorities arrested the suspected seller in November.

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