An Egyptian mummy will be allowed remain at University College Cork – if authorities are convinced it is too fragile to return home.
The 2,300 year old mummy was discovered hidden under floorboards at the Cork university in 1903 and is wanted by the Egyptians to act as the centrepiece of a new multi-million dollar museum within sight of the Giza pyramids and the Sphinx.
The Irish Independent reports that the mummy, the property of the Egyptian state according to their government, will only be returned to its rightful owners if it suitable for shipment.
The Egyptians have offered the Cork college a loan of the mummy in the future and are prepared to include the university on world tours of famous artefacts.
The recent political and civil uproar in Egypt and confusion over the arrival of the mummy to the Cork facility have thrown the talks on its future up in the air.
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College bosses say the mummy was acquired somewhere between 1880 and the turn of the 20th century, most likely as part of a collection offered to universities by English explorers.
The mummy was discovered lying under floorboards at the college in 1903 but experts now believe the mummy, that of an adult male, and the sarcophagus in which it is kept are from different eras.
The mummy is that of a male adult who lived around 300BC but the coffin dates to between 600BC and 700BC.
The mummy has remained in storage for 23 years but is not on public display. Talks between UCC and the Egyptian embassy in Dublin are ongoing.