Nicolas Cage, nephew of legendary filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola and walking meme, suffered tragedy this week, as he has agreed to return a rare dinosaur skull to the Mongolian government. TheTyrannosaurus bataar skull, which Cage purchased for $276,000 from a gallery in 2007, was stolen from the government and smuggled into the US for sale.
Cage hasn’t been charged with any wrongdoing, according to The Guardian , and was first contact by the US government in 2014, when they suspected that the skull may have been stolen. Obviously, that suspicion has been proven correct, and so now Cage must bid farewell to his beloved skull, with whom he’d forged a full life.
The gallery that sold the skull is also not being accused of wrongdoing, having had no reason to believe that the ancient, extremely rare remains of a giant dinosaur could possibly have entered the US in a way that was anything other than legal. The Guardian also points out that there’s no confirmed connection to the recent case of a Florida paleontologist who was arrested for repeatedly thieving remains and funneling them into the black market, but how many dastardly paleontologists could there be?
No confirmation that the skull and Cage have parted ways yet, but surely Leonardo DiCaprio is happy he wasn’t the highest bidder on this thing.