American collectors are keen to highlight thefts from public collections in the source countries, arguing that brown-skinned folk in other countries cannot 'look after' the heritage themselves which is why the white collector should be able to get his hands on it all without much restraint. Not surprisingly then, in their blogging they depict this kind of thing only happening in foreign lands. This case involving a 76-year old man in Cedar rapids Iowa therefore "somehow slipped their notice" ('Plea deal made in theft of ancient remains', 3rd January 2016).
A retired National Park Service official has agreed to serve one year of home detention and to publicly apologize for stealing ancient Native American remains from a museum he managed in Iowa, according to a plea agreement released Wednesday. Former Effigy Mounds National Monument superintendent Thomas Munson also has agreed to pay $108,000 in restitution for the government’s cost of restoring the artifacts and to complete 100 hours of community service. [...] He and the U.S. attorney’s office agree in the plea deal that the “appropriate sentence to be imposed” is one year of probation with home detention, including confinement on 10 consecutive weekends. [...] Munson admits that he took two boxes of prehistoric human remains in July 1990 [which] had been excavated from the site decades ago. [...] the theft came months before the Native American Graves Protection and Repartition Act went into effect, which was designed to require federal agencies and museums to return burial and cultural items to affiliated tribes. [...]Apparently Munson was charged with a misdemeanor instead of a felony because it proved impossible to unequivocally establish the financial value of two boxes of old bones (on the collectors' market, presumably) as exceeding $1,000.