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As US Returns to Mongolia a Dinosaur By UN, Action on Syrian Artifacts?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 6 -- There was a dinosaur head in the One UN New York Hotel across from the UN on Monday.

 It was not a reference to the UN being out of date and unable to reform itself. It was the "repatriation ceremony" for a 70 million year old Tyrannosaurus Bataar, which had been set for auction in New York last May 20. Inner City Press photo here.

(Ironically, an internship in the UN is currently being auctioned, with bids taken until May 14, for now up to $26,000 - click here for Inner City Press' first May 1 coverage of this, about which the US and certain other Missions have now been asked.)

  Preet Bharara, US Attorney for the Southern District, explained how Mongolia hired a private lawyer to stop the auction. Then US Immigration and Customs Enforcement got involved, through its offices in New York, Jacksonville, Cleveland and dinosaur-heavy Caspar, Wyoming.

  Other US returns of cultural heritage were listed: paintings looted during World War II -- UN alert! -- a dinosaur egg, even Saddam Hussein's AK-47.

  But would the US work for example on returning artifacts being looted from Syria, today? Watch this site.

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