A Belize archaeologist is suing the makers of a blockbuster ‘Indiana Jones’ film for using a likeness of a so-called Crystal Skull, which he says is a stolen national treasure.
Dr. Jaime Awe claims the skull was stolen from Belize 88 years ago, and that filmmakers had no right to use a model of it in 2008’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
In a lawsuit filed in Illinois this week, Awe is demanding the return of the Crystal Skull, which he says is a national treasure, from a treasure-hunting family who allegedly stole it, said the industry journal Friday.
But the legal action also targets Lucasfilm, its new owner the Walt Disney and Paramount Pictures which released the film by Steven Spielberg, for allegedly using a replica “likeness” of the skull. Read more.
When Wilfried Rosendahl, an archeologist from Mannheim, embarked on a secret mission to the somewhat isolated town of Idar-Oberstein, he felt uncomfortable. “Apparently some people vacation there voluntarily,” he says with a noticeable shudder.
Rosendahl went to the workshop of lapidary Michael Peuster to view the results of a special order. Peuster had cut and polished a 14-kilogram (31-lb.) block of crystal to make a life-sized replica of a human skull.
The project took Peuster over a year to finish. This Sunday the skull goes on display at the Reiss-Engelhorn Museum in Mannheim, mysteriously lit and displayed in a glass case. Rosendahl will ceremoniously pull a black cloth from the case to open the “Skull Cult” exhibit, and he’s looking forward to the astonished looks on the faces of museum visitors.
He won’t hide the fact that the transparent skull is not an archeological artifact. On the contrary, says Rosendahl, “this is the first time that the manufacture of this type of skull has been documented from the very beginning.” Read more.