Monday, 6 May 2013

'Tarby' Goes Home

NEW YORK – On Monday during a repatriation ceremony at a Manhattan hotel, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) returned  to the government of Mongolia a Tyrannosaurus Bataar skeleton, looted from the Gobi Desert and illegally smuggled into the United States.
"This is one of the most important repatriations of fossils in recent years," said [ICE Director John] Morton. "We cannot allow the greed of a few looters and schemers to trump the cultural interests of an entire nation. Through this case, HSI special agents have once again proven themselves to be the leading federal law enforcement experts in the investigation and forfeiture of stolen foreign art, antiquities and relics. Because of the collaborative effort between HSI and the U.S. Attorney's Office, we undo a great wrong by returning this priceless dinosaur skeleton to the people of Mongolia."
The Bataar was seized in New York by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents after it was sold by a Florida dealer at a Manhattan auction for $1.05 million. Among those thanked for their help in resolving this case was the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology.
Source: ICE News release, 'ICE and Manhattan U.S. Attorney's Office return Tyrannosaurus Bataar skeleton to Mongolia', May 6, 2013 Vignette: the mounted skeleton was too big to go on the special ICE Press release Tablecloths, so they made a snazzy logo of Tarby rushing to get home.

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