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More Looted Artifacts At Hobby Lobby

May 19, 2020
Gilgamesh Dream Tablet

Gilgamesh Dream Tablet. Image from ICE

Back in 2017, Hobby Lobby agreed to return thousands of smuggled clay artifacts they bought in 2010 and pay a fine of $3 million.  Well, now it has come to light that another piece in their collection – Gilgamesh Dream Tablet – was illegally smuggled out of Iraq.

According to several articles, Hobby Lobby paid $1.6 million to an unnamed auction room (finding the name was pretty easy – here is a link to a PDF from Christie’s featuring the item) for the 6 1/4 x 4 3/4 inch tablet.  It has also been revealed that the provenance listed was fictitious; it seems the work was stolen in 1991, and not sold by a California auction room in 1981.

Oh, what a tangled web we weave…

Source: Civil action filed to forfeit rare cuneiform tablet from Hobby Lobby

Source: Prosecutors file a civil forfeiture complaint for the Gilgamesh Dream Tablet which they say was looted from Iraq.

Source: Federal authorities confiscate ancient tablet inscribed with the Epic of Gilgamesh that Hobby Lobby museum bought for $1.6m after it was discovered to have been looted by Iraqi troops.