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Can anyone verify the facts in this matter?



We received an e-mail recently which appears (not quite complete) below.
The original mentioned matters which are extraneous to the subject
matter of this list. I can supply a complete copy of the e-mail OFFLIST
to anyone who wants the "un-snipped" version.

However, can anyone explain what (despite the innuendoes) actually
happened here?

--------------------------------------
In 1961, a teenaged boy named Alfred Siefker found a weird fossil lizard
with
wings from an upper Triassic formation in New Jersey. He lent his find
to the
American Museum of Natural history, where it stayed for the better part
of 40
years.

Now broke, he asked for it back (SNIPPED) ...

According to an article in the New York Times, Mark Goodwin, the
principle
scientist at the museum of paleontology in Berkeley, CA said that the
return
of the loaned item  ....  was a "highly unethical event (SNIPPED)....

(SNIPPED)  ... Also, why did the American
Museum of Natural history accept this as a loan [if it was a gift, then
they
wouldn't have had to give it back] instead of purchasing it outright?
What is
the policy of most museums on transactions such as this? Do most
museams,
when an amateur comes in with an interesting fossil, offer to buy it,
encourage a donation, or take it on loan, hoping that the owner would
forget
about it? Take it on loan, and return it to the owner after making a
cast or
CT scan?

Perhaps there's a silver lining in that there might be uniform policies
on
this sort of thing.

(author's name withheld)

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