Indiana Jones was called a grave robber and “obtainer of rare antiquities” in his career, but at least in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, the skull ended up in its rightful place. Not so much with another crystal skull, which was referenced in the 2008 film: the Mitchell-Hedges skull, found in British Honduras (now Belize) in the 1920s.
Now, the Institute of Archaeology of Belize is using the Illinois courts to get the Mitchell-Hedges skull back from its discoverer’s family, and are even claiming that the skull’s likeness was used as the basis for the fictional skull in the Indiana Jones film without Belize’s authorization and thus the country deserves a chunk of the profit from Lucasfilm and Paramount (and now Disney). Or could it be that the crystal skull prop (and the Mitchell-Hedges skull) are based on the design of human skulls (albeit for the movie, some proportions were extended to alien dimensions).
The lawsuit alleges that there are only four known major crystal skulls in the world, including the one in the British Museum. Wait, the British Museum rock crystal skull was determined not to be Mayan or Aztec, but made later, from material not in the pre-Columbian Mexico trade network. Not a good start for this case.
Whether the Mitchell-Hedges skull is stolen property that needs to be repatriated to Belize is one case, but then dragging Lucasfilm into the case for claiming stolen profits is going to be a much tougher case. Or was the goal to just get some PR for this lawsuit?