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Lawrence Dunn wrote:

>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.

This is a very similar situation to what happens in Bayern-Wortumberg in
Germany and it is widely recognised as the most comprehensive and equitable
management of fossil resources in the world. The laws were principly
designed for the protection of fossils from the famous Holtzmaden deposits
(late Jurassic marine reptiles, pterosaurs and invertebrates) but could,
with suitable care, be adapted to and significant fossil deposit or

Cheers, Paul

Dr Paul M.A. Willis
Consulting Vertebrate Palaeontologist
Quinkana Pty Ltd