It sounds like a scene from the next “National Treasure” movie, but, in fact, Nicolas Cage is returning a stolen dinosaur skull in real life.
According to Reuters, the actor has agreed to turn over a rare Tyrannosaurus bataar skull to US authorities, which will be repatriated to Mongolia.
Cage bought the skull for $276,000 in 2007 at a Beverly Hills gallery, outbidding Leonardo DiCaprio.
A US attorney in Manhattan, Preet Bharara, filed a civil forfeiture complaint last week. The lawsuit did not specifically name Cage as the owner, though, according to the actor’s publicist, Cage has agreed to hand it over to authorities. The Department of Homeland Security notified him in July 2014 that the fossil might be stolen.
Neither Cage nor I.M. Chiat gallery, where the actor bought the skull, have been accused of any wrongdoing.
The Tyrannosaurus bataar skull is roughly 67 million years old. Since 2012, Bharara’s office has recovered more than a dozen Mongolian fossils, including three full Tyrannosaurus bataar skeletons.
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