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2008-11-24 – Thailandia: Mercato nero dei reperti di dinosauri (Dinosaurs black market)

Anche la Thailandia è vittima del mercato nero dei reperti fossili, trafugati e venduti illegalmente a collezioniti stranieri reperti di dinosauri.


Dinosaur fossils remain a favourite for collectors

Fossils of dinosaurs are more highly prized than of other prehistoric animals by collectors.

Black markets dealing in all kinds of fossils are found in many northeastern provinces, where the petrified remains are excavated.


But trade in dinosaur bones is centred in Khon Kaen and Kalasin, where they were discovered at two major sites.


Commercial transactions in dinosaur relics have been limited in the past five to 10 years due to campaigns by archaeologists and authorities.


In Khon Kaen, an amulet trader named Lek said demand for dinosaur fossils shot up after 2002 when rumours spread that a specimen was illegally peddled for Bt1 million to a foreign collector. Lek said he sold a small dinosaur egg to a man named Steven for Bt1,000.


A fossil up to five inches long can fetch Bt50,000, and the price can go up to Bt300,000 if it is in good condition, he said.


Another trader, Wichien, said he sold a 30centimetre fossil to a Western man, who claimed to be a lecturer, for Bt7,000. “It’s a genuine fossil, because I bought it from a forest ranger with Phu Wieng National Park, where a historic fossil site is located,” he said.


Warawuth Sutheethorn, a palaeontologist with the Mineral Sources Department, identified three groups of buyers – locals for adding to their private collections, locals for reselling in black markets, and foreigners for smuggling out of Thailand.


The prehistoric animals range from crocodiles, shells and clams, fish and early apes to elephants and dinosaurs, he said.


The villagers who stole fossils from dinosaur sites devalued their archaeological value by ransacking the sites and stuffing the bones in sacks and bags before taking them to traders, he said.


Preecha Sainongkham, an official with the Phu Wieng historic site, said thieves freely helped themselves to fossils at many of all nine sites, because they were located in forests and not yet fully protected.


A site near Sakkawan Temple in Kalasin’s Sahassakhan district turned up more than 700 fossils thought to belong to seven dinosaurs. Stealing is now less frequent there because the site is guarded.


Phra Yana Wisal Thera, the abbot, said the robbers disguised themselves as tourists and pilfered the fossils at night. He said many people had returned the fossils to him, after they had nightmares or experienced ghostly or paranormal episodes at home.


More than 100 people confessed to him that they lifted the fossils up to 10 years ago, but bad things, accidents or deaths had cursed their families and friends.

novembre 24, 2008 - Posted by | - R. Dinosauri, Asia, Collezionismo, Commercio illegale, Italiano (riassunto), Paleontology / Paleontologia | , , , , , ,

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