New York Judge Rules That Hobby Lobby Must Hand Over Ancient Tablet
We have top men working on it right now. Top men. In one of the oddest headlines so far in an already odd year, a federal judge in New York ruled that a three and a half thousand year old tablet must be forfeited by retail giant Hobby Lobby. How in the world did some arts and crafts store get their hands on this? It's kind of a long story, and it involves the smuggling of historical artifacts that are later sold on the black market.
You may remember learning about the Epic of Gilgamesh back when you were in school? The story is a Mesopotamian epic poem which is regarded as one of the earliest surviving notable pieces of literature in the entire world. So, you may still be wondering how a part this ancient text wound up the property of some big chain store based in Oklahoma City?
NBC says a portion of the original tablet was looted from Iraq in 2003. It began its long journey to the United States in 2003, when it was sold by an antiquities association to a dealer, The very same part of the tablet was again back in the States in 2014, when Hobby Lobby bought it in a London auction when the auction house had lied how the tablet had entered the market, according to prosecutors. The tablet was later seized in 2019 by federal authorities, and was then stored away in Brooklyn for the time being, according to NBC.
Hobby Lobby CEO Steve Green had the tablet displayed in the Museum of the Bible, which opened in Washington DC in 2017. Judge Ann M. Donnelly ordered the forfeiture of the Gilgamesh Dream Tablet Monday. This is not the first time Hobby Lobby have been caught up in controversy, as they've been ordered to return thousands of other smuggled artifacts in recent years.