U.S. to return more stolen dinosaur skeletons to Mongolia
Mongolia may need to rustle up some more glass cases for its first dinosaur museum after US authorities announced Friday they will hand back a large new collection of stolen fossils.
At a ceremony on Monday, officials had turned over the nearly complete skeleton of a 70-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus bataar, a cousin of the fearsome Tyrannosaurus rex.
It had been found in the Gobi desert and illegally sold at auction for $1.05 million in the United States last year, before authorities intervened.
Now, the federal prosecutor’s office in Manhattan says that 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.
Mongolia’s minister of culture, sport and tourism, Oyungerel Tsedevdamba, said this week her country is planning to build a Central Dinosaur Museum of Mongolia and that the T-bataar bones repatriated Monday will be the “first exhibit.”