Repatriation Of Relics & Antiquities: News & Specific Cases

Nosmo King

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US prosecutors are seeking to confiscate a rare ancient tablet from a Christian museum co-founded by the president of retailer Hobby Lobby.

The 3,500-year-old artefact, from what is now Iraq, bears text from the Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the world's oldest works of literature.

Prosecutors allege that an unnamed auction house deliberately withheld information about its origins.

Hobby Lobby said it was co-operating with government investigations.

It bought the tablet from the auction house in a private sale in 2014 for $1.67m (£1.36m) for display at the Museum of the Bible in Washington.

The office of the US attorney for the Eastern District of New York says the tablet was illegally imported into the US.


https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-52692846
update.

"A federal court has ordered that a rare ancient artefact, known as the Gilgamesh Dream Tablet, must be surrendered to authorities.


The 3,500-year-old tablet, from what is now Iraq, bears text from the Epic of Gilgamesh - one of the world's oldest works of literature.

Officials say it was illegally imported before being purchased by the Christian-owned brand Hobby Lobby.

The rare item was bought to be put on display at the Museum of the Bible.

The Washington DC museum, chaired and funded by the Hobby Lobby's president Steve Green, has been plagued by controversies involving its collection.

Officials said the tablet was purchased by a US antiquities dealer in 2003 in London, who then shipped it to the US without declaring the contents and sold it on with false documentation."

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-57992957
 

Mythopoeika

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That is a very significant artefact. I am completely shocked that it was up for sale at all.
 

ramonmercado

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Trafficked artefacts to be returned to India. The alleged smuggler has been charged.

The National Gallery of Australia is to return 14 works of art to India that are suspected of having been stolen, looted or exported illegally.

The religious and cultural artefacts include sculptures, photos and a scroll and are worth around $2.2m (£1.57m). Gallery director Nick Mitzevich said their return would close "a very difficult chapter of our history".

All but one of the works are connected to Subhash Kapoor, a former New York art dealer and alleged trafficker.
Kapoor, who is awaiting trial in India, denies all charges.

Some of the disputed pieces date back to the 12th Century, when the Chola dynasty presided over a flourishing of Hindu art in Tamil Nadu.

The Canberra gallery has already returned several other works it acquired via Kapoor, including a bronze statue of the Hindu god Shiva it bought for $5m (£3.6m) in 2008.

https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-58027898
 
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