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Re: FOSSIL OWNERSHIP



steve.cole@genie.com wrote:

> Lawrence Dunn's idea that only certain institutions (presumably
> museums and universities) could own fossils has several major flaws.
> First of all being that most fossils will never be found since
> the land owner could not sell them to the open market, and museums
> would not pay enough for their 37th hadrosaur metacarpal to make it
> worth picking up. 

An excellent point.  Would it work better if the eligible institution 
held the fossil in trust for a set time, cleaning and examining it, and 
then have thr right of first refusal, but if it passed on the option, the 
fossil would be returned to the landowner for sale, any museum cleaning 
costs being passed on to the purchaser (would would have had to pay this 
cost anyway, I assume, unless fossils are generally sold uncleaned)?  
This way, the fossil gets eyeballed and cleaned by the institution, and 
then on to a colletor if not "important", or stays with the eligible 
institution if valuable.  As an added bonus, the institution's cleaning 
costs would be defrayed by the commerce in fossils.