Hobby Lobby to forfeit ancient Iraqi artifacts in settlement with DOJ

Hobby Lobby to forfeit ancient Iraqi artifacts in settlement with DOJArts and crafts retailer Hobby Lobby has agreed to forfeit thousands of illegally smuggled ancient Middle Eastern artifacts obtained from antiquities dealers for a Bible museum headed by its president, the company and U.S. officials said on Wednesday. The forfeiture will include some 5,500 artifacts purchased by Hobby Lobby Inc that originated from the region of modern-day Iraq and were shipped under false labels, as well as an additional $ 3 million to settle the civil charges, the Department of Justice said in a statement. “The protection of cultural heritage is a mission that (Homeland Security Investigations) and its partner U.S. Customs and Border Protection take very seriously as we recognize that while some may put a price on these artifacts, the people of Iraq consider them priceless,” Angel Melendez, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in New York, said in the statement.



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