New York (AP) — A federal judge in New York has approved the confiscation of a 3,500-year-old tablet containing a portion of Gilgamesh’s epic that was plundered from Iraq and sold to Hobby Lobby for $ 1.6 million. Bible Museum, prosecutor announced.
Written in the ancient Akkadian language and dating back to about 1500 BC, cuneiform tablets were again illegally shipped to the United States in 2003 and 2014, prosecutors said in a federal complaint.
According to prosecutors, fake source letters were used several times to sell tablets before Hobby Lobby bought the tablets from a London-based auction house in 2014.
Known as the Gilgamesh Dream Tablet, this relic contains some of the Gilgamesh epics and is considered one of the earliest surviving works of prominent literature.
The tablet was confiscated in 2019 from the Washington, DC-based Bible Museum, founded by Hobby Lobby executives, and is currently in storage in Brooklyn, prosecutors said.
Judge Anne M. Donnelly issued an order on Monday to document the confiscation of tablets.
“This confiscation represents an important milestone in returning this rare and ancient masterpiece of world literature to its country of origin,” said Kaslis, deputy US federal prosecutor. “This office is fighting the sale of cultural properties in the black market and the smuggling of looted relics.”
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On Wednesday, a message was left in the Oklahoma City-based Hobby Lobby asking for comment.
Hobby Lobby has returned thousands of other tablets, stickers and other ancient relics It was smuggled into the United States in 2018.
These items were purchased by Hobby Lobby President Steve Greene for display at the Bible Museum, which opened in 2017.
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Confiscation of ancient tablets purchased by Hobby Lobby approved | Nationwide
Source link Confiscation of ancient tablets purchased by Hobby Lobby approved | Nationwide