Tags: nicolas cage | dinosaur | skull

Nicolas Cage Returns Dinosaur Skull He Purchased for $276K

Image: Nicolas Cage Returns Dinosaur Skull He Purchased for $276K
(REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger)

By    |   Tuesday, 22 Dec 2015 12:49 PM

Nicolas Cage has agreed to return a 67-million-year-old dinosaur skull stolen from Mongolia after spending $276,000 to buy it at a New York City auction in 2007.

At the time of the sale, Cage was not identified as the buyer but simply as a "private collector," The New York Times said. 

The actor has not been accused of any crime, and he voluntarily agreed to return the skull to U.S. authorities. U.S. attorney Preet Bharara filed a civil forfeiture lawsuit last week to get the skull back, Reuters reported. Cage was contacted in 2014 and told the skull might be stolen, and when it was determined it was, the "National Treasure" actor agreed to give it back.

The skull is that of a Tyrannosaurus bataar, which the Times called "a close relative" of the more well-known T. Rex.

Cage bought the skull from the I.M. Chait Gallery, which although located in Beverly Hills rented a location in New York for the 2007 auction. The Times said the skull was advertised as a perfect addition to a NYC apartment. It came with a certificate of authenticity.

Cage apparently outbid Leonardo DiCaprio for the skull, Reuters said, and that may be one competition he wishes he'd lost.

I.M. Chait Gallery representatives did not comment to the Times, but the gallery has not been accused of wrongdoing. In the past, it was determined the gallery sold another illegally smuggled dinosaur skeleton. In that instance, the sale was connected to paleontologist Eric Prokopi, who has been convicted of smuggling artifacts, the Times said.

The online community couldn't resist linking this real-life story to Cage's on-screen roles:


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Nicolas Cage has agreed to return a 67-million-year-old dinosaur skull stolen from Mongolia after spending $276,000 to buy it at a New York City auction in 2007.
nicolas cage, dinosaur, skull
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2015-49-22
Tuesday, 22 Dec 2015 12:49 PM
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