Why Nicolas Cage bought a illegal Tyrannosaurus bataar skull and was not jailed?

Nicolas Cage bought a illegal Tyrannosaurus bataar skull for $276,000

Nicolas Cage bought a Tyrannosaurus bataar skull at an auction in 2007 and later had to return it due to it being stolen from Mongolia is accurate. Cage purchased the skull for $276,000, but it was later discovered that the fossil had been illegally taken from Mongolia.

Nicolas Cage bought a illegal Tyrannosaurus bataar skull for $276,000

The Tyrannosaurus bataar is a dinosaur species closely related to the Tyrannosaurus rex and is native to the Gobi Desert in Mongolia. Mongolia claimed ownership of the fossil, and legal proceedings were initiated to return it. In 2015, Cage agreed to hand over the skull to the U.S. government, and it was subsequently returned to Mongolia.

It’s indeed noteworthy that the skull was initially bought from the Beverly Hills gallery, I.M. Chait, which had a history of dealing with illegally smuggled dinosaur fossils. The involvement of Eric Prokopi, a convicted paleontologist, in the illegal trade of dinosaur fossils added another layer to the story.

Nicolas Cage bought a illegal Tyrannosaurus bataar skull for $276,000

The fact that Nicolas Cage outbid Leonardo DiCaprio for the skull and that both actors were interested in such a unique and controversial item adds an intriguing element to the narrative.

The fossil trade involving rare and valuable specimens, especially those with potential scientific significance, has been a subject of legal and ethical scrutiny. Laws and international agreements exist to protect paleontological resources and prevent the illegal trade of fossils.

“It was the skull I bought at an auction, and I bought it legally,” Cage recently told GQ. “Here’s the MacGuffin: When the Mongolian government said they needed it back, I gave it to them, but I never got my money back.” “So, somebody at the auction house should be in jail.”

As for whether Nicolas Cage never received a refund for the purchase, information on that specific aspect may not be readily verifiable. Legal and financial details related to such cases may not always be publicly disclosed.

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