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European Diplomats destroy Egypt whale fossil
Remains of an early whale from 40-million years ago lies on the desert pavement of Wadi El-Hutan, 100 kilometers south of Cairo. European diplomats in four-wheel drive cars have caused millions of dollars worth of damage to a fossilised whale lying for millions of years in the Egyptian desert, a security source said on Sunday.(AFP/File/Cris Bouroncle)

European Diplomats destroy Egypt whale fossil

August 26, 2007
Associated Press

CAIRO - European diplomats in four-wheel drive cars have caused millions of dollars worth of damage to a fossilised whale lying for millions of years in the Egyptian desert, a security source said on Sunday.

"Whale Valley officials have informed the authorities that people from two diplomatic corps vehicles destroyed the fossil," the source told AFP after the destruction was discovered around 150 kilometres (95 miles) south of Cairo.

Two cars drove into the protected area on Friday and then refused to stop when asked to do so by wardens who nevertheless got the vehicles' registration numbers which the source said were from "a European country."

"The damage is more than 10 million dollars," the source said.

The site, known as Wadi Hitan (Whale Valley), was home to whales around 40 million years ago when the area was ocean. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to hundreds of of whale fossils.

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