Nicolas Cage to return dinosaur skull looted from Mongolia

NEW YORK -- Nicolas Cage has agreed to give back a national treasure from Mongolia.

A publicist for the star of the "National Treasure" adventure films confirmed Tuesday that Cage was the unwitting buyer of an ancient dinosaur skull that federal prosecutors in New York have said was stolen.

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Prosecutors announced last week that they were taking custody of the skull so it could be returned, but they didn't name the buyer.

Prosecutors say the skull was looted from the Gobi Desert in Mongolia and smuggled into the U.S. in June 2006. It was later sold by the Los Angeles-based I.M. Chait gallery for $276,000.

Cage's publicist says the actor was given a certificate of authenticity at purchase. But federal authorities contacted him last year to say they suspected it was stolen.



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