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Saturday, 17 January, 1998, 11:37 GMT
Italy's iceman comes home
The world's oldest and best preserved iceman has arrived safely back in Italy, after a fierce debate about who should look after the Stone Age hunter.

The iceman was found in a glacier in the Tyrolean mountains in 1991, just a few metres inside the Italian border.

The Austrian team who made the discovery took him back to Innsbruck University and nicknamed him Oetzi.

The Italians have claimed that Oetzi is in fact one of their oldest citizens and have renamed him Hibernatus.

Despite angry opposition from Austrian academics, the Italian claim to the body has been honoured.

The 5,300-year-old European left Innsbruck in a purpose-built refrigerated container to make the 80 mile journey (130 km) to Bolzano, in Italy.

The cost of the transfer, which involved police from both countries and a helicopter, was close to $1m.

Visitors will be able to see the iceman, frozen in time, in a specially created capsule of solid ice at Bolzano Museum. He goes on display at the end of March.

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