These stories always amaze me and this one is even more shocking since they were warned, back in 2010, by an attorney that “the acquisition of cultural property likely from Iraq, including cuneiform tablets and cylinder seals, carries a risk that such objects may have been looted from archaeological sites in Iraq.” You would think that any intelligent individual would heed that warning, but no! A short time later, the Arts-and-crafts chain “…agreed to buy over 5,500 ancient artifacts, including cuneiform tablets, clay bullae and cylinder seals, for $1.6 million — even though the purchase was fraught with red flags.” They even went as far as smuggling the items into the country. What?
Well, the long arm of the law finally caught up with them and Hobby Lobby now must forfeit all the artifacts and cough up an additional $3 million in fines. That is a great lesson on how to turn a $1.6M purchase into a $4.6M loss!