Italian court decides finder of Iceman/Bozener Gericht entscheidet über Ötzi-Finder

According to Dolomiten-Online, a German-language newspaper in South Tyrol, Italy, a court in Bolzano has decided that the Nuremberg couple Erika and Helmut Simon were the finders of Ötzi, the Iceman, the 5300-year-old corpse found on the Austrian-Italian border on 15 September 1991.

The paper has a complete Ötzi section. And of course, there is an Ötzi museum in Bolzano, where Ötzi has been kept in cold storage since 19998.

The Land South Tyrol (should I be using Italian terminology there?) is going to appeal against the judgment.

Under Italian law, the Simons, if upheld as finders, have a right to 25% of the value of Ötzi (named after the Ötztal Alps where he was found). The actual value is likely to be disputed in further courts, unless there is an out-of-court settlement.

The Nürnberger Nachrichten gives more detail. The government of Bolzano (Bozener Landeshauptmann) will have to pay the Simons’ court costs and lawyers’ fees and expenses, which amount to about 10,000 euros so far. For many years there has been a campaign in South Tyrol presenting the Simons as nasty Germans interested only in money.

Erika Simon and her lawyer in Bolzano, Elohim Rudolph-Ramirez, will be making a carefully drafted statement later in the week.

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