Monday, January 21, 2013

Bones of Contention

Paige Williams has written a fair and balanced article for the New Yorker about Eric Prokopi and the seizure and repatriation of his dinosaur reconstruction to Mongolia.  My only quibbles are that the article glosses over open sales of  dinosaur bones within Mongolia itself  as well as the fact that current Mongolian law on the subject does not appear to be quite as clear as the Government has claimed. 

1 comment:

Voz Earl said...

Good article.

I visited Ulaan Bataar in December of 2002 and found the area interesting if somewhat bleak. On the way to visit Terelj National Park (an altogether forgettable place) we passed an extremely cheezy tourist attraction with numerous gaudy dinosaur replicas on display--sort of a Flinstones amusement park in the middle of nowhere. I was not even aware that Mongolia was rich in dinosaur fossils as there were none in the museums we visited (dark, dingy, and underwhelming venues I might add). It will be interesting to see whether all this idealistic talk of national heritage gets turned into real world facilities and displays for the public.

On a side note, I should mention that the detail about the American lawyer ending up live on Mongolian TV for 30 minutes is not at all surprising. Our party of 3 random tourists stopped in for lunch at an unremarkable restaurant for a bit of beef and some local brew. Inside was a camera crew taping the performance of a Mongolian pop star. Halfway through our meal the camera crew stuck a microphone in front of our collective faces and started interviewing us. Our guide later informed me that the whole thing aired on national TV as part of a New Years' broadcast. Surreal experience.

Voz Earl