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Canada returns prehistoric fossils to China

11-11-2010 09:56 BJT

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A collection of fossils some 130-million-years-old were smuggled from China into Canada seven years ago. But on Tuesday, the priceless prehistoric fossils were returned by the Canadian government to the Chinese government at a ceremony at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa. The event marks the country's first return of cultural property to China.

The fossils, 35 pieces in all, originate from Liaoning province in northeast China. These old bones had been stored in the Canadian Museum of Nature since being seized by the Canada Border Services Agency in 2003.

Photo taken on Nov. 9, 2010 shows the sinohydrosaurus fossil in Ottawa, Canada.
A collection of 130 million years old fossils, smuggled from China into Canada
seven years ago, was officially transferred to the Chinese government Tuesday,
marking the country's first return of culture property to China. The fossils,
35 pieces in total, consist of Sinohydrosaurus, Lycoptera fish, plant and
insect fossils, all originating from Liaoning province, northeast China.
(Xinhua/Christopher Pike)

The fossils were repatriated in accordance with the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property as well as a ruling by the Federal Court of Canada. Next, the fossils will head to China, to be kept in the Geological Museum of China in Beijing.


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