Tuesday 4 December 2012

Dinosaur skull seized from Wyoming Collector's Home

A Tarbosaurus Bataar dinosaur skull has reportedly been seized from a home in Jackson, Wyoming. The seizure is apparently related to the ongoing US investigation into fossil smuggling from Mongolia.
Louis Martinez, spokesman for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations in New York, said he couldn't release any details about the Wyoming case because the investigation was ongoing [...] The government contends the bones were brought into the country illegally from Mongolia, which has laws that declare dinosaur fossils to be the property of the government.
It is interesting to note that (though this is not yet reported) there is a strong possibility that this case probably represents the seizure of an item not in the hands of a dealer this time, but one of a dealer's clients - a collector who has bought an ancient object without at the same time acquiring documentation giving legal title to it. If so, this is an interesting development, and one that should give collectors of other dugup artefacts pause for thought.

 Bob Moen, 'Feds: Dinosaur skull seized from Wyoming home Associated Press Mon, Dec 3, 2012.

The skull was among those repatriated at the beginning of May 2013:  'US returns more Mongolian dinosaur bones', Associated Press,
"a herd of other prehistoric remains is due to be surrendered. These include two more Tyrannosaurus bataars, a Hadrosaur, at least six Oviraptor skeletons, and fossils including several Gallimimus skeletons". 

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