Hobby Lobby Sues Auction House Over Stolen Relic

The Christian Post reports:

Arts-and-craft retailer Hobby Lobby, led by billionaire evangelical Steve Green, has filed a lawsuit against renowned British auction house Christie’s for deceiving the company about the legality of the sale of a rare cuneiform tablet it acquired for display in the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C.

The rare cuneiform tablet, which bears a portion of an epic Sumerian poem known as the “Gilgamesh Dream Tablet,” is now the center of forfeiture proceedings started Monday in New York by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations office.

The 254-year-old Christie’s has denied the allegation by Hobby Lobby that the auction house “intentionally left Hobby Lobby with the erroneous impression” that the tablet had been legally brought into the U.S. in 1981, when, in actuality, it had been illegally imported to the U.S. in 2003.

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.