Dubai: Tunisians have expressed their anger on social media after a French jeweller used fragments from the famous Tataouine meteorite of Tunisian in his latest collection, calling on the government to investigate the matter.
Activists have called for an investigation into the fate of the meteorite that fell on the southern Tunisian city, Tataouine in 1931, and how the fragments were disposed of.
The president of an association in Tataouine that aims to preserve the natural and cultural heritage of the area, Dawi Mousa was the first to raise the alarm on the French jewelry that is being sold and marketed as studded with the famous Tunisian meteorite.
Dawi in his post explained the history of the meteorite which fell in 1931, when Tunisia was still colonised by the French. The French army back then collected more than 18kg of the fragments and moved them to France.
According to Dawi the fragments can be seen now a days in the “The French National Museum of Natural History.”
Dawi asked, “When will we appreciate our resources? Until when, what is ours will remain in the hands of others?”
“France must be asked to return what it had captured from this meteorite," he adds.
The meteorite originated from the asteroid Vesta according to NASA, which in 2009 have conducted a number of tests at the site..
The meteorite is famous because it was categorized to be of very rare type. It is composed entirely of silicate whose elementary crystals reach up to 3cm in size. They are opaque, yellow in colour, veined with blackish gray.
The name of the city Tataouine, might sound familiar to Star Wars fans. In Berber it means “water spring”, and the city was a location used to shoot the movie Star Wars. Director George Lucas was reportedly inspired by the city and he named the fictional home planet of Luke Skywalker, Tatooine.
Tataouine also appeared in the last scenes of the movie,The X-Files as Foum Tataouine, where an extraterrestrial viral experiment facility was located.