The Christian Post reports:
Federal authorities in New York filed a civil complaint Monday asking for the forfeiture of a rare artifact bearing a portion of an epic Sumerian poem known as the “Gilgamesh Dream Tablet” that was unlawfully acquired by an auction house and later sold to Hobby Lobby to be displayed at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C.
According to ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations office in New York, the poem is considered one of the world’s oldest works of literature. The piece originated in the area of modern-day Iraq and authorities believe that is where the piece should be returned.
Authorities said once the artifact “entered the United States contrary to federal law,” it was sold by an international auction house, known as the Auction House, to Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. for display at the Museum of the Bible.
Last month the museum was accused of buying a rare papyrus allegedly stolen from Oxford University. In March, the museum was forced to acknowledge that the Dead Sea Scrolls on display were all fake. Last year the museum quietly removed its “Lunar Bible” exhibit after it was learned that its miniature bible had not actually been taken to the moon by an astronaut. The Green family has already paid millions in fines over antiquities smuggled out of Iraq.
Federal prosecutors are demanding an ancient tablet be returned to Iraq after it was “stolen” and put on display at the Museum of the Bible, which is funded by Hobby Lobby. https://t.co/dtQYH3FSbY
— NPR (@NPR) May 20, 2020