[meteorite-list] Resend: Repatriating Chinese fossils from Australia

From: Gtceb_at_aol.com <Gtceb_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Jul 1 15:32:19 2004
Message-ID: <24.5a277e60.2e15c0bb_at_aol.com>

Tried to this send earlier, did not go through.

Greetings list:
I have been on the list for few years, mostly reading, with an occasional
post. I have read with interest the discussion of meteorite "ownership" (and
the recent Libyan Glass discussions) and all of the scenarios that go with it.
I had always discounted a country taking the time and spending money to pursue
it's meteorites (or fossils) across the globe for purposes of repatriating
them. Until today. A very good friend in Ireland shared this e-mail from a
mutual fossil friend in Australia that I know (a very good guy dedicated to kids
and opening a museum in his town...not a dealer..). I could not believe what
I was reading. The e-mail was written yesterday to my friend in Ireland by my
friend in Australia, was a "catching up with each other" e-mail, and is
authentic (I know the guy well). I only cut out the relevant paragraph. I think
this is worth considering from a meteoritic point of view. Interested to hear
what others think about this:

"I have been visited by Australian Federal Police Agents that appeared on my
doorstep getting me out of bed early in the morning with a search warrant.
They proceeded to search my house for all chinese fossils telling me i am in
trouble for bringing into the country. Well they took eleven egg
clusters...everything i had....keichosaurs, fish..... i have been numb ever since. With council
making life difficult and expensive with all their red tape, i tell you my
friend i am so close to being finished with fossils and my dream of a museum..
They have bought so much grief already.... now to be treated like a real major
criminal defies description. One would think fossils as a hobby is safe...
well far from it! They took my old computer that has all business dealings over
the past 5 years on it.... boy does that upset me! To lose all my precious
eggs i worked so hard to get is one of the lowest feelings i have ever known. To
think i now have to get expensive legal representation to defend myself is
more than aggravating. I bought them in via the U.S. starting 5 years ago...
there was no restriction on bringing them into the country... now they have
decided its illegal they are seizing goods bought back anytime after 1987 ~!!!!
Its real Gestapo stuff... one can do nothing but watch while they take what
they like.... one can relate to the feeling of being raped. So i will be
vigorously defending myself in Court and trying with all my means to retrieve my
eggs. Its hard to imagine the Irish government would be so harsh. Our government
is seriously tainted with a real reputation for treating its citizens with
contempt. Seems the Chinese government has asked the Australian government to
return all fossils of theirs in the country ... so our federal police oblige by
raiding peoples homes... outrageous! Imagine the Chinese goverment responding
to an Australian request with such vigour !!! .... Never....."

Are meteorites next?
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