Disputed dinosaur fossil auctioned for $1M in NYC

May 21, 2012

(AP) -- A fossil of a fearsome T. Rex relative has been auctioned in New York City despite the Mongolian government's objections and a judge's order blocking the sale.

Heritage Auctions says the 24-foot-long tarbosaurus skeleton sold for $1,052,500 Sunday. But the sale is contingent on the outcome of the auction house's court fight with Mongolian President Elbegdorj Tsakhia (EL'-behg-dorj SAH'-kee-uh).

A Texas judge Saturday ordered the sale stopped while the case plays out.

Elbegdorj lawyer Robert Painter said Monday he'll ask a judge to find the auction house defied the court order. A Heritage spokesman didn't immediately respond to an email.

Elbegdorj says the fossil may belong to his country. He notes Heritage says the skeleton came from the Gobi desert.

Heritage says it was assured the specimen was obtained legally.

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