Is someone in Estonia profiting from fossils? (2)

(Mike Peel/Wikimedia Commons)
11/10/2014 3:10 PM
Category: Environment

For some time, a mystery vendor has been selling eye-catching and rare fossils on eBay. Curiously, the sale is centered and many of the fossils dispatched from Estonia. The local paleontologists and geologists, however, are in the dark about the fossil business.

The mystery seller offers a range of fossils, the most expensive of which are prized at 1,300 dollars. Estonian paleontologists and geologists are agitated, for the sale of fossils is, in terms of legal regulation, still very much a grey area.

Initial suspicions that the specimens listed on eBay may have been stolen from one of the Estonian collections, have not been confirmed as nothing has been reported missing. It is now held more likely that they originate from Russia.

Estonian legislation does not prohibit the sale of fossils outright. Only the sale of first category protected fossils is currently illegal. The rest can be sold within the country, but require an expert statement for export. However, no requests for such statements have been put in so far.

ETV's "Pealtnägija" television program says it is thankful for every clue, as to who could be behind the large-scale sale of the rare fossils. Anyone with relevant information can contact the editors at pealtnagija@err.ee.


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