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Last Updated: Friday, 30 September 2005, 07:57 GMT 08:57 UK
Australia returns Chinese fossils
Australian customs officers itemize dinosaur fossils in this undated handout photo from Australian customs
The fossils make up one of the largest collections in history
Australia has handed back to China 10,000 fossils, including dinosaur eggs and ancient turtles, that had been illegally exported.

The fossils were seized following a request from China in 2003, and some were bought by Australians unaware they had been sold without permits.

The fossils, some of which date back 230m years, were handed over by Heritage Minister Ian Campbell.

He called their detour to Australia "a mere blip in history".

"It is a massive collection. It is one of the biggest fossil hauls in world history, and certainly the biggest in Chinese and Australian history," he said in a statement.

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