I'm not a cat
- Jan 10, 2021
- Reaction score
update.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.
"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."