Dinosaur skull owned by Nicolas Cage can back go to Mongolia

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NEW YORK (AP) — A federal judge in New York has approved the transfer to Mongolia of a dinosaur skull once owned by "National Treasure" adventure films star Nicolas Cage.

The order Wednesday by Manhattan Judge J. Paul Oetken (OHT'-kihn) will lead to shipment of the 32-inch-long fossil to the Asian nation.

A Cage publicist said in December the actor was the unwitting buyer of a skull prosecutors say previously had been stolen. Publicist Alex Schack says Cage fully cooperated with the investigation and agreed to forfeit it.

The skull was auctioned in Manhattan in March 2007 for $230,000. Prosecutors say it was looted from the Gobi Desert in Mongolia and was shipped through Japan to Gainesville, Florida, in June 2006 with a false customs label.

Cage bought it at auction from a Los Angeles-based gallery.


This story has been corrected to show the actor's name is spelled Nicolas, not Nicholas.