Thursday, October 29, 2015

Hobby Lobby Investigated for Importing Hundreds of Ancient Iraqi Artifacts

By: Cassius Methyl

Hobby Lobby is a “deeply Christian” chain of craft stores that made headlines in 2014, with a landmark Supreme Court ruling in their favor that extended religious freedom rights to corporations.  Hobby Lobby is run by the wealthy Green family.

A strange situation with infamous Hobby Lobby hit the headlines today as it was revealed that they are being investigated for importing hundreds of ancient artifacts from Israel, that should belong to Iraq.

In 2011, 200-300 clay tablets on their way to an Oklahoma City Hobby Lobby compound from Israel were seized by U.S. customs in Memphis. The tablets were destined for the wealthy family’s collection of precious artifacts, at their “Museum of the Bible”, a “giant” museum set to be opened in Washington D.C. in 2017.

The tablets were thousands of years old, cuneiform script of ancient Babylonia and Assyria; modern day Iraq.

According to the Daily Beast “For the last four years, law enforcement sources tell The Daily Beast, the Greens have been under federal investigation for the illicit importation of cultural heritage from Iraq.”

The Green family owns a massive reserve of ancient artifacts, possessing nearly 40,000 of them.

Although it seems like a disrespectful thing for the Green family to do, there’s another question that may arise from this; are the authorities who seized these artifacts now the benefactors from this situation?

Why does the U.S. government have the right to seize the artifacts? Is this not the property of the people of Iraq?

Will U.S. authorities ever return the artifacts to those who may be considered their rightful owners, or will the artifacts disappear into the shady realms of American bureaucracy?

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