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T. Rex Fossil Set for Sotheby's Auction

November 17, 1996|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

The fossil of Sue the Tyrannosaur is to be auctioned by Sotheby's. The New York Times reported that the auction will be held next spring in Manhattan and that the exact date will depend on how difficult it is to remove her bones from the surrounding rock. Discovered embedded in a butte in South Dakota in 1990, the 50-foot skeleton has been the subject of fierce legal battles for the last four years. The fossil was seized by the federal government in 1992 from Peter L. Larsen, the commercial fossil dealer who excavated it. The government said the land where Sue was found was under federal jurisdiction and off-limits to collectors who lacked special permits. Paleontologists have described the skeleton as the most complete and detailed fossil of a T. rex ever found. Sotheby's vice president David Redden said its value is estimated at "$1 million plus."

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