We bet Nicolas Cage was feeling reaaal cool when he outbid Leonardo DiCaprio back in 2007 for a rare dinosaur skull…
Well now, turns out that prized possession has to be returned to the Mongolian government because it was taken illegally from the country!
Related: Nicolas Cage Named A Hero For THIS!
The 51-year-old actor purchased the (unknowingly stolen) Tyrannosaurus bataar skull from a Beverly Hills gallery I.M. Chait for a whopping $276,000.
Last week, the office of Manhattan U.S. attorney Preet Bharara filed a civil forfeiture complaint to take back possession of the artifact. The National Treasure star isn't accused of wrongdoing as he didn't know the skull had been stolen, and he has agreed to voluntarily hand it over to the authorities.
The same gallery had previously purchased and sold a different stolen skeleton from convicted paleontologist Eric Prokopi who is referred to as a "one-man black market in prehistoric fossils."
It's unclear if Cage's skull is connected to this particular fossil stealer — but the same U.S. attorney handled both of the cases.
It also hasn't been reported if Nicky C. will get his thousands of dollars back.
We sure hope he does!!!!
[Image via WENN.]
Tags: legal matters, nicolas cage, oops!