Controversial dinosaur skeleton auction canceled in Hong Kong

Controversial dinosaur skeleton auction canceled in Hong Kong
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The dinosaur skeleton will be loaned to a museum for public display, Christie’s (representational) said

Hong Kong:

Christie’s has canceled the auction of a Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton, the auction house told AFP on Monday, days before it was to go up for auction in Hong Kong.

The cancellation came after a US fossil society raised doubts about parts of the skeleton named “Shen”, The New York Times reported on Sunday.

Christie’s said in a statement to AFP that Shen – a 1,400 kg (3,100 pound) skeleton – had been withdrawn from its autumn auction week which begins Friday in Hong Kong.

“The sender has now decided to loan the specimen to a museum for public display,” he said.

Excavated in the US state of Montana, Shen is 4.6 meters (15 feet) tall and 12 meters long, and is thought to be an adult male who lived around 67 million years ago. of years.

His auction reportedly followed the sale of another T-rex skeleton named “Stan” by Christie’s for $31.8 million in 2020.

It’s very rare to find complete dinosaur skeletons, according to the Field Museum in Chicago, one of the largest natural history museums in the world.

Most exposed frames use bone casts to complement the skeleton. The Field Museum estimates the number of bones in a T-rex at 380.

Christie’s original documents indicated that approximately 80 of Shen’s bones were original.

The controversy was sparked when Peter Larson, president of the Black Hills Institute of Geological Research in the United States, told the New York Times that parts of Shen resembled Stan.

The Black Hills Institute owns the intellectual property rights to Stan, even after it was sold in 2020, and it sells replicas of this skeleton

Larson told the newspaper that it appears to him that Shen’s owner – unidentified by Christie’s – used bones from a replica of Stan to complete the skeleton.

Her spokesman Edward Lewine told the newspaper that Christie’s thinks Shen “would benefit from further study.”

Sales of these skeletons have brought in tens of millions of dollars in recent years, but experts have described the trade as harmful to science because auctions could put them in private hands and beyond the reach of researchers.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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