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Re: Paleo-Conference in Benevento.

Fabio Marco Dalla Vecchia wrote:

> You people of the free world always forget one important thing.
> Fossils (from foraminifera to dinosaurs) in Italy are STATE PROPERTY. No
> matter if you find them in your garden or private estate, if they are rare
> vertebrates or common shells. You private cannot look for them. Scientists
> must ask the State administration a permission to do it. Bureaucrats can
> decide that you cannot make field work and they are not obliged to explain
> why. Furthermore, you must ask for permission before October 31th to be
> allowed to make field work the following year and they take months to decide.
> When you find a common fossil shell and you keep it at home, it is an
> illegal act and you are formally an outlaw.
> According to the law (and law interpretation) scientists should ask the
> State bureaucrats the permission to study the fossils and even to take
> pictures of them. You cannot take freely photographs of the specimens
> because also their image is State property and you must pay a fee to use
> it. This is the reason of the strict control on Scipionyx. Furthermore also
> the State bureaucrats (without any scientifical background) now know that
> Scipionyx is a rare specimen, thus they must show that they have care of it!
> This is our situation.

I would support the protection of Scipionyx and of any fossil of its importance,
specially considering the scarcity of dinosaurs in Italy. I mean, even Canada
has this kind of laws: All the Canadian fossils are property of Canada and
nobody else. That can also be good as a way of protecting scientific studies.
As a contrast in England for example there's no protection whatsoever to fossil
finds and then all the scientists have to go around the Isle of Wight begging
for specimens to private collectors.
But one thing is protection and other this infights and bureaucratic obsession.
No photographs? Thay must be joking!  What has this to do with any protection?
Am I going to 'steal its soul' ? Or maybe sell bootleg photographs of it?
Scipionyx is popular, but not precisely a Rock Star.
The specimen is well known... I have never come across an institution or country
anywhere in the world that doesn't allow photographs of public exhibitions of
fossil specimens. Maybe I'm wrong.

Sad really.

Luis Rey

Visit my website on http://www.ndirect.co.uk/~luisrey