US seizes $1.6 million ‘Epic of Gilgamesh’ tablet from Hobby Lobby



  • A 3,500-year-old clay tablet that bears the text of one of the world’s oldest works of literature and was purchased by Hobby Lobby in 2014 for $1.6 million has been forfeited to the United States, the feds announced.

    The tablet, which contains a portion of the “Epic of Gilgamesh,” came from the area of modern-day Iraq and was illegally shipped to the US in 2003, the Department of Justice alleged.

    The tablet, known as the “Gilgamesh Dream Tablet” because it contains a portion of the poem in which the protagonist describes his dreams to his mother, was sold several times with a “false letter of provenance,” according to the DOJ, before Hobby Lobby purchased it at an auction hosted by Christie’s for $1.6 million.

    Representatives for Christie’s did not return The Post’s request for comment.

    Hobby Lobby purchased the tablet to be displayed at the Washington, DC-based Museum of the Bible, which is funded by the family of the arts and crafts chain’s founder, David Green.

    In a complaint filed in May 2020, prosecutors said the 5-by-6-inch tablet is the property of the Iraqi government and should be returned. Hobby Lobby cooperated with the investigation, the DOJ said.

    https://nypost.com/2021/07/28/us-seizes-1-6m-epic-of-gilgamesh-tablet-from-hobby-lobby/


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