Hobby Lobby has returned to the headlines in their latest controversy and for goodness sakes it might actually be far more serious than the last time. According to media reports published on Tuesday, the controversial hobby store is under investigation by the FBI for the apparent possession of a super-ancient-artifact dating back thousands of years (2100 B.C to be exact.)
Federal authorities claim that somehow the controversial store managed to get its hands on an ancient tablet with the inscription of the Epic of Giglamesh poem. The Epic of Giglamesh Poem for those that aren’t aware is one of the oldest religious texts of its kind second only to the Pyramid texts.
In documents and complaints filed by federal officials out of the Eastern District of New York, officials are claiming that the rare tablet was in fact stolen from Iraq several years ago. At least two documents in the complaint show that they believe the artifact to have been stolen sometime earlier this decade if not in the later 2000 ‘s.
Hobby Lobby reportedly managed to acquire the fascinating artifact for $1.4M in 2014 from an auction house that doesn’t appear to have ever disclosed how they actually got it to begin with.
‘Despite inquiries from the Museum and Hobby Lobby, the Auction House withheld information about the tablet’s provenance,’ the complaint reads.
‘Whenever looted cultural property is found in this country, the United States government will do all it can to preserve heritage by returning such artifacts where they belong,’ stated United States Attorney Richard Donoghue.
‘In this case, a major auction house failed to meet its obligations by minimizing its concerns that the provenance of an important Iraqi artifact was fabricated, and withheld from the buyer information that undermined the provenance’s reliability.’
In a fascinating revelation it appears that the tablet was sold to the not-yet-named auction house in 2003 by an antiquities dealer in London. However, federal authorities in the United States did actually note that the auction house lied to Hobby Lobby when said hobby store bought the rare item.
Subsequently, the New York Times reports that the artifact may have originally been swiped from Iraq during the Occupation of Kuwait in 1991 by Jordan.