Let’s say smugglers get artifacts for me and I am apprehended then I do time….but that is me for I am a ‘nobody’….but if a rich guy gets caught with stolen artifacts he/she gets a slap on the hand and a fine that they can afford without a problem.
Think Hobby Lobby and their search for artifacts for the Museum of the Bible…I have covered this story on several occasions…..https://lobotero.com/2021/10/13/closing-thought-13oct21/
Another story of this uneven justice…..
A New York billionaire will face no criminal charges after surrendering 180 antiquities worth $70 million, which authorities say were stolen from 11 countries. The items had been looted from Bulgaria, Egypt, Greece, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Syria and Turkey, and trafficked by 12 criminal smuggling networks before appearing on the international art market, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, which began investigating Michael Steinhardt’s “acquisition, possession, and sale of more than 1,000 antiquities since at least 1987” in February 2017, per CNBC.
The 81-year-old hedge fund pioneer and philanthropist admitted that he lacked provenance documentation for items in his collection after receiving a subpoena for the information relating to a statue of a bull’s head, stolen during the Lebanese Civil War, which was valued at $12 million, per ABC News and CNBC. “His pursuit of ‘new’ additions to showcase and sell knew no geographic or moral boundaries, as reflected in the sprawling underworld of antiquities traffickers, crime bosses, money launderers, and tomb raiders he relied upon to expand his collection,” District Attorney Cy Vance said Monday.
The DA’s office said Steinhardt knew or should have known the 180 purchased items—including a 2,400-year-old ceremonial vessel in the shape of a stag’s head, believed to have come from Turkey, valued at $3.5 million; a 3,400-year-old larnax coffin from the Greek island of Crete, worth $1 million; and a 50BC fresco from Herculaneum (now Ercolano), Italy, worth $1 million—were stolen. But Steinhardt avoided criminal charges in agreeing to forfeit the items in exchange for what Vance described as an “unprecedented lifetime ban on acquiring antiquities,” per the New York Times. Vance said the agreement meant the stolen items would be “returned expeditiously to their rightful owners” without the risk of exposing witnesses.
Another fine example of just the wealthy can get away with anything.
This is pathetic….I do not care how old this a/hole is….he knew full well what he was doing and does not deserve any quarter for the theft of a nation’s culture and history….the maximum penalties should apply equally.
I say make an example of this soulless SOB…..
Some good news on stolen artifacts….
A small clay tablet dating back 3,500 years and bearing a portion of the Epic of Gilgamesh that was looted from an Iraqi museum 30 years ago was formally returned to Iraq on Tuesday, following a September repatriation ceremony in Washington, DC. The AP reports the $1.7 million cuneiform tablet, known as the Gilgamesh Dream Tablet, is one of the world’s oldest surviving works of literature and one of the oldest religious texts. It was found in 1853 as part of a 12-tablet collection in the rubble of the library of Assyrian King Assur Banipal.
The tablet was looted from an Iraqi museum during the 1991 Gulf War. Officials believe it was illegally imported into the US in 2003, then sold to Hobby Lobby and eventually put on display in its Museum of the Bible in Washington. Federal agents with Homeland Security Investigations seized the tablet from the museum in September 2019. A federal judge in New York approved the forfeiture of the tablet in July this year.
On Tuesday, the tablet was handed over to Iraqi authorities in a ceremony at Iraq’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the presence of UNESCO officials as well as Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein and Hassan Nadhem, Iraq’s minister of culture, tourism and antiquities. “We were able to recover about 17,926 artifacts from several countries, namely America, Britain, Italy, Japan and the Netherlands,” Hussein said. UNESCO has described the process of recovering the valuable artifact as the culmination of decades of cooperation between the US and Iraq, both of which are signatories to the UNESCO Convention of 1970.
The Greene family of Hobby Lobby fame knew these artifacts were stolen by the they care not for they are wealthy and think that laws do not apply to them…..they deserve more than a fine and a slap on the wrist for their theft of a nation’s history….but they skated out because once again the wealthy have a different set of laws that they are held to…..
I Read, I Write, You Know
“lego ergo scribo”