Press Release - May 20, 2012

Tyrannosaurus Brings $1,052,500 At Heritage Auctions New York Event

Conditional Sale of Tyrannosaurus bataar, 8-feet high and 24-feet long, will be contingent upon resolution of a court proceeding.

Heritage Auctions appreciates the widespread concerns related to the Tyrannosaurus, but since no impropriety had been proven, we felt the only fair way to protect the interests of the consignor, various potential bidders and the people of Mongolia, was to auction the dinosaur contingent on the resolution of the matter in Court.

Our consignor, whom we believe to be reputable, has warranted in writing to us that he and his partner hold clear title to the specimen. Furthermore, our consignor apparently invested thousands of hours of expert time and considerable expense identifying, prepping and assembling what we understand had previously been an unidentified container of fossilized dinosaur bones in matrix.

You should also be aware that this auction had been publicized broadly for 4 weeks. The Mongolian Government's request, issued less than 48 hours before the auction (and on a Saturday), seemed misleading, unreasonable and inappropriate. We also asked Mongolia if they had failed to tell us of a known prohibition preventing auction, and they did not respond.

We've still seen no evidence suggesting that the fossils were collected or acquired illegally. We have no reason to believe that any laws enforced by the United States have been violated and we remain uncertain whether even Mongolian law would have prevented export from Mongolia at all times when it might realistically have left the country. Further, we know of no treaty between the United States and Mongolia which would have prevented the import into the United States last year, and are equally unaware of any prohibition of export, particularly since Mongolia has not yet shown us any factual or legal document supporting a possible claim.

Heritage Auctions trusts our Court system to discover the true facts of this situation. The tyrannosaurus has been relocated to an insured and secure storage facility in New York. Meanwhile we intend to focus our efforts on helping all the involved parties work out a fair, efficient and amicable solution.

May 29, 2012 Joint Press Statement from the President of Mongolia and Heritage Auctions

Mongolia & HA Revised TRO

NEW YORK — One of the great dinosaurs of the Cretaceous era, an eight-foot tall, 24-foot long, 75% complete Tyrannosaurus bataar — the slightly smaller Asian counterpart to the legendary North American T-Rex — has sold for $1,052,500, contingent upon resolution of a Texas state court proceeding. Heritage Auctions sold this dinosaur on May 20 as part of the company's Natural History auction at Center 548 (548 W. 22nd Street, between 10th Ave. and West Street). The entire auction realized $2.63 million, not counting post-auction sales, which are still in progress.

"This is a once in a generation dinosaur and collectors definitely responded to both its rarity and its fierce beauty," said David Herskowitz, Director of Natural History at Heritage Auctions. "A dino like this is rare to come across in any condition, let alone one as pristine as this."

The sale — marking the first time a fully prepared Tyrannosaur has been made available at public auction ("Sue" the T-Rex was sold in 1996, but was still in field jackets) — was not without controversy, as the Mongolian government released a statement 48 hours before the auction suggesting the fossil belonged to the country.

"We respect the various opinions on the subject and wish to protect the legal rights of all parties involved," said Greg Rohan, President of Heritage Auctions. "We have legal assurances from our reputable consignors that the specimen was obtained legally. As far as we know, the Mongolian government has not produced any evidence that the piece originated in its territory, but the final determination will be up to the American legal system."

The proceedings were not without event, however, as Mongolia's Texas-based attorney, without authority from the New York judicial system, tried to interrupt the auction.

The Tyrannosaurus bataar roamed what is now Central Asia in the Cretaceous period, around 80 million years ago. The dino had been in storage in England, still in its field jackets, until it was brought to the United States last year.

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