According to attorney Robert Painter’s website, inspection has concluded on the Tyrannosaurus baatar, or Tarbosaurus baatar, that Heritage Auctions sold on May 20, 2012 for over $1M. The delegation of inspectors was appointed by President Elbegdorj Tsakhia of Mongolia to determine the fossil’s origins. President Tsakhia has claimed that the fossil was unlawfully taken out of Mongolia and therefore not subject to be sold by Heritage. The auction company went ahead with the sale anyway.
From Mr. Painter’s webage:
“The paleontologists unanimously concluded that the specimen originated in Mongolia, based on unique characteristics of the Tyrannosaurus bataar.”
No word from Heritage as of yet. But this is an earlier statement from Heritage’s website:
“We’ve still seen no evidence suggesting that the fossils were collected or acquired illegally. We have no reason to believe that any laws enforced by the United States have been violated and we remain uncertain whether even Mongolian law would have prevented export from Mongolia at all times when it might realistically have left the country. Further, we know of no treaty between the United States and Mongolia which would have prevented the import into the United States last year, and are equally unaware of any prohibition of export, particularly since Mongolia has not yet shown us any factual or legal document supporting a possible claim.”
Judging from that, Heritage will not likely give in without a fight, in spite of today’s news.