A 70 million-year-old Tyrannosaurus skeleton that was looted from Mongolia and smuggled into the U.S. is on its way home after nearly being sold at auction in New York last year.
NPR's Margot Adler reports that the skeleton was seized by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement after a Florida fossils dealer pleaded guilty to smuggling charges in December and agreed to surrender the dinosaur bones.
The nearly complete Tyrannosaurus bataar skeleton, measuring 8 feet high by 24 feet long, was handed over to the Mongolian government in a special ceremony on Monday.
Nicolo Zen, director of Traditional Boat Museum of Venice, launched a crowd funding project to save one of the last <em>traghetto</em> gondolas — everyday boats used by the city's locals.
Credit Christopher Livesay
Gondolas have long played a part in the Venetian tourist experience. But as tourism has grown and the local population has declined, everyday gondolas called <em>traghetti </em>have all but disappeared. Above, a group of tourists poses on a canal, circa 1900.
Even if you haven't been to Venice, you're probably familiar with the city's famous tourist gondolas: With baroque silver ornaments, shiny black lacquer, and sumptuous red seat cushions, they're unabashedly fancy, not to mention ubiquitous. A ride with a gondolier costs at least 80 euros (about $105), rain or shine (and it's 110 — $144 — more to be serenaded).
A celebrated 19th century landscape painting by Thomas Cole is at the center of a 21st century fight: The Seward House Historic Museum in upstate New York wants to sell a painting that belonged to former Secretary of State William Seward, but on Tuesday Seward's great-great-grandson will be in court to try to block the sale.