Published July 6, 2017
As the Hobby Lobby’s smuggled antiquity drama seems to be drawing to a close, the Museum of the Bible is distancing itself from the affair. Hobby Lobby, the evangelical crafting company funding D.C.’s forthcoming museum, has just been fined $3 million for buying artifacts smuggled from Iraq. The PR firm representing the museum, DeMoss, denied it has a direct connection to the case.
“We have been made aware of the settlement between Hobby Lobby and the government. The Museum of the Bible was not a party to either the investigation or the settlement,” the statement to DCist reads. “None of the artifacts identified in the settlement are part of the Museum’s collection, nor have they ever been.”
According to a civil complaint and settlement agreement in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Hobby Lobby must return thousands of cuneiform tablets, clay bullae, and cylinder seals in addition to paying the fine. Stolen antiquities looted from Syria and Iraq are a known funding stream for ISIS.
“We should have exercised more oversight and carefully questioned how the acquisitions were handled,” said Hobby Lobby President Steve Green in a statement. “Our passion for the Bible continues, and we will do all that we can to support the efforts to conserve items that will help illuminate and enhance our understanding of this Great Book.”…read more here.
See previous reporting on this topic: Museum of the Bible Will Open One Year From Today