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FW: FOSSIL OWNERSHIP
Steve Cole wrote:
>Lawrence Dunn's idea that only certain institutions (presumably
>museums and universities) could own fossils has several major flaws.
If the holotype of Spinosaurus was in private hands, it probably would
have survived the bombing of the Museum. (rich private homes are
generally evacuated by their cautious owners weeks before armies move
into the area) That's why things like the Dresden exhibit survived;
because cautious owners stashed the stuff-something museums may not
have the personel nor room to do. If I remember correctly, the really
famous Archie was stashed during WW2-fortunately it was small enough.
How 'bout their larger stuff?
Museum and University inventories are published; if looters want to swipe
somthing famous, such as various armies' swiping of the Impressionists
and Masters from several museums in WW2, they can have an idea of the
value of a piece before they even enter the museum.
How many holotypes were in the Baghdad environment and survived the
bombing during Desert Storm?
Hopefully these sort of things will never happen again.
Does it really seem that bad that some future holotypes might only be
slightly more difficult to track down when in private hands AND TAGGED.
(I like the tagging idea-for our digital age this should be no big
problem). Possibly having fewer important items in a private collection
means better care being taken of them in times of troubles such as fire,
tornadoes and hurricanes, earthquakes, wars, or floods?
It's better than the way the looters in WW2 simply removed something
from public knowledge.
Or the way modern thieves have snatched the footprints of Stegosaur or
the skulls just recently posted stolen from Russia, or from the
University of ?Michigan? to fill some private collection since some rich
person wasn't allowed to BUY what he wanted.