Strange Bedrock Fellows: Auction House and Mongolian President to Cooperate in Fight Over Fossil

Nine days after an uncharacteristically exciting natural history sale, in which an auction of near-complete Tyrannosaurus bataar skeleton was forcibly interrupted by a lawyer over concerns that the bones had been looted from Mongolia, a partnership has been struck.

Robert Painter, the legal representative of His Excellency Elbegdorj Tsakhia, the president of Mongolia, and the auction house handling the sale, Heritage Auctions, have announced that they will open a joint investigation to determine the origin of the bones and the legality of their ownership.

President Tsakhia said in a statement

“I commend Heritage Auctions and its consignor for assisting with my investigation into the origin and legal ownership of this Tyrannosaurus bataar skeleton. The Mongolian government will be sending a delegation of Mongolian and international experts and representatives to New York City in early June to inspect the skeleton in the presence of both the consignor and a representative of Heritage Auctions.”

Until then, the bones are being kept in a “secure, insured facility” in the New York City area, and are protected under an extended temporary restraining order issued by a Texas court today.