Home » Economy » Hobby Lobby sues Christie's auction house over sale of illegally imported Mesopotamian tablet
Hobby Lobby sues Christie's auction house over sale of illegally imported Mesopotamian tablet
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Hobby Lobby has hit Christie's auction house with a lawsuit for representing a seller in the $1.69 million purchase of a Gilgamesh tablet that was actually stolen from Iraq and illegally imported to the United States some years ago, court papers allege.
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The devout Christian-run retailer, which had been showcasing the "Gilgamesh Dream Tablet" in its Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., filed the lawsuit on Tuesday in federal court in Brooklyn against Christie's and the seller, who is identified as John Doe, claiming they lied or withheld information about how the seller came to own the antique.
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Christie's "intentionally left Hobby Lobby with the erroneous impression" that the tablet had been legally brought into the U.S. in 1981, when, in actuality, it had been illegally imported to the U.S. in 2003.
In a statement provided to FOX Business, a Christie's spokesperson said the filing "is linked to new information that has come to light regarding an unidentified dealer’s admission to government authorities that he illegally imported this item, then falsified documents over a decade ago in order to perpetrate an illegal sale and exploit the legitimate market for ancient art."