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Skeletons in the Closet

Frenchman Pascal Morabito Questioned by Bali Police in Continuing Probe of Theft of Religious Artifacts.

(9/20/2010) Editor's Note: This article, based on local press reports, was subsequently updated with corrected information provided by Pascal Morabito [See: Alas, poor Yorick! I Knew Him, Horatio]

Just eleven day after Italian Roberto Gamba (50) was arrested together with a number of Balinese associates for the illegal possession of sacred artifacts removed from village temples across Bali [See: Outraged by Sacrilege in Bali]. Local press reports that Bali police have questioned a 65-year old Frenchman discovered with a stash of ancient human skeletons, antique figurines and preserved parts of turtles and snakes.

The Frenchman, Pascal Morabito, was initially linked by the police to the investigation of Gamba and suspected of forming a part of an international network stealing sacred Balinese objects.

According to press reports, evidence found in a warehouse rented by Gamba led police to Morabito's door.

Human skeletons found in Morabito's possession are believed to be over 1,000 years old. These items were reportedly purchased by the Frenchman from a museum in France.

The private possession of human skeletons in Indonesia is prohibited while housing the same is offensive to Balinese customs and mores.

Police are busy trying to link the Balinese men, the Frenchman and the Italian to a whole series of thefts from over 34 sacred temples across Bali.

In this effort, police have seized a laptop computer from Gamba, the contents of which are still unknown to police.