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4 October 2008
Oetzi legal battle over

A 17-year legal battle over the 5300-year-old 'iceman' found in the Italian Alps has finally been settled. German hikers Helmut and Erika Simon found the remains of the man, later named Oetzi, in the province of Bolzano and alerted local authorities to the discovery. But district officials refused to pay the Simons an adequate finder's fee, which under Italian law is 25 percent of the discovery's value.
     Lawyers for the couple argued the discovery had contributed millions of euros in income from added tourism business while Bolzano Council claimed they had footed the bill for Oetzi's excavation and provided an expensive climate-controlled home for the iceman.
After appealing a 2006 ruling in favour of the Simons, the province finally agreed to a payout of 150,000 euros ($250,000) overnight. But the ruling came too late for Mr Simon: he died in a mountaineering accident in 2004.

Source: National Nine News (30 September 2008)

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