Bones of Contention

Inside the fight over a 24-foot-long Mongolian dinosaur skeleton, and efforts to crack down on the black market for fossils:

“As the bidding opened, at eight hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars, Robert Painter, an attorney from Houston, stood up, a BlackBerry in his hand. Painter is six feet three and forty-two, with dark hair, rimless eyeglasses, and a deep voice. ‘I hate to interrupt this,’ he told the room. ‘But I have the judge on the phone.’ The previous day, Carlos Cortez—a state district judge in Dallas, where Heritage has its headquarters—had signed a temporary restraining order forbidding the company to auction the T. bataar, on the ground that the dinosaur was believed to have been stolen from Mongolia. The judge, defied, was not pleased.”

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Jan 21, 2013
Length: 41 minutes (10,499 words)
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