Irish man’s €60 souvenir turns out to be €30,000 Ice Age relic

Figurine is made from rhino horn thought to be 25,000-years-old

George Mealy holding the carved rhino horn figurine

George Mealy holding the carved rhino horn figurine

An Irishman visiting Morocco who bought a figurine in an antiques shop for €60 has discovered that his holiday souvenir is a 25,000-year-old piece of rhino horn worth tens of thousands of euro.

The self-employed carpenter, who wishes to remain anonymous, visited Chefchaouen, a town in the Rif Mountains of northwest Morocco, inland from Tangier, in 2006, and bought the 6-inch high, carved figurine in an antiques shop that sold “mostly Islamic and Roman items”. The man, who collects antiques “as a hobby”, said he liked the figurine because it looked Chinese. He told The Irish Times that the item was priced at 800 [Moroccan] dirhams but he “haggled and got it for 600 dirhams – about €60”.

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