Morocco Wants to Repatriate the Tail of a Dinosaur Sold in Mexico
The Moroccan authorities will try to repatriate the tail of a Sauropod auctioned in Mexico, proving the illegal nature of its acquisition, said Abdellah Alaoui, head of the Cultural Heritage department at the Ministry of Culture, reports Medias 24, adding that Morocco could buy this fossils if necessary.
The sale of this paleontological discovery is to be used to rebuild or repair 5,000 Mexican schools, damaged by earthquakes that hit the country in September 2017.
According to Abdellah Alaoui, this tail was found in pieces in the Atlas Mountains during the 1980s by locals. They then sold it to intermediaries. The Ministry of Culture has learned about the «illegal export» through media reports, he told the same source.
He also said that the department has opened an investigation that will determine the origins of this dinosaur tail. «We will first contact the auction house to see if the seller has legal import certificates allowing him to resell this piece of our history. If it is in good faith, Morocco will have no choice but to buy it from the new buyer and then repatriate it», he said.
«If we manage to prove that the fossils were exported illegally, the Moroccan embassy in Mexico will launch a specific procedure to cancel this sale and repatriate this piece of heritage», Abdellah added.