- The DOJ announced on Tuesday that it had recovered the Gilgamesh Dream Tablet from Oklahoma-based arts and crafts superstore Hobby Lobby.
- Hobby Lobby president Steve Green with The Museum of the Bible has been plagued by scandal in the past and was involved in smuggling ancient Iraqi artifacts into the US in 2017.
- The Museum of the Bible also claimed that exhibits of the Confederate flag and pro-slavery texts were only there to help understand the Bible’s role in the Civil War.
“The Department of Justice announced on Tuesday that it had recovered the Gilgamesh Dream Tablet, a rare portion of the epic of Gilgamesh, from Oklahoma-based arts and crafts superstore Hobby Lobby.
The epic of Gilgamesh is considered one of the most ancient works of literature and originally comes from Iraq. According to the Department of Justice, the Gilgamesh Dream Tablet was smuggled into the US, and an international auction house sold the tablet to Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. The company put the tablet on display at the Museum of the Bible.
Law enforcement seized the tablet from the museum in 2019.
“Forfeiture of the Gilgamesh Dream Tablet demonstrates the Department’s continued commitment to eliminating smuggled cultural property from the U.S. art market,” Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. said in a written statement. “Thwarting trade in smuggled goods by seizing and forfeiting an ancient artifact shows the department’s dedication to using all available tools, including forfeiture, to ensure justice.”
The tablet measures approximately 6 inches by 5 inches and is written in the Akkadian language, the DOJ said…”
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