Evangelicalism-oriented Company Caught Smuggling 5,500 Ancient Mesopotamian Cuneiform Tablets into US

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July 7th, 2017 – Fort Russ News –

– Agencies –  – by Samer Hussein –            

Hobby Lobby, the US crafts supply company, known for mixing evangelicalism with its business, has been found guilty of smuggling some 5,500 ancient Assyrian, Sumerian and Babylonian artifacts and cuneiform-written clay tablets. 

Following years-long investigation, conducted by the US Customs and Border Protection agents, the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York, has finally filed a complaint against Hobby Lobby.

The company has since agreed to pay a $3 million settlement and return more than 5,500 artifacts it has obtained.

For the past eight years, Hobby Lobby has been negotiating with various antiques dealers in the Middle East in order to receive thousands of rare, ancient clay tablets and several other artifacts.

According to Steve Green, the president of Hobby Lobby, the company was “collecting” cuneiform tablets and other ancient Mesopotamian antiquities, because it was confident, that as a Christian-oriented company, has a right to possess ancient artifacts from the Biblical era (and which related to various important Biblical figures and saints).

For Green’s biggest “misfortune”, however, vast majority of the materials obtained by Hobby Lobby in its pursuit of the ancient Biblical legacy, turned out to be written by cultures, known to be extremely hostile to ancient Israelites and the Biblical saints of the pre-Christian era. 

For instance, one of the cuneiform tablets from the annals of the 7th century BC Assyrian emperor Sannharib, obtained by the company, is describing the Assyrian destruction of Jerusalem in a highly favourable way.

Most clay tablets obtained, however, deal with the subjects nothing to do with the Israelites, saints or the Bible. 

It is also completely obvious that Hobby Lobby executives were importing the tablets secretly, as they were dispatched with faked customs declarations, claiming they were “ceramic tiles.” 

Majority of the tablets were reportedly received from a dealer in the United Arab Emirates.

Upon paying the $3 million settlement, Green issued a statement, saying he was new to this kind of antiquities business and had no clue about the complexity of the process.

It is noteworthy that antiquity-dealing businesses and archaeological excavations are both strictly regulated by relevant authorities, with the antiquities themselves always needing to have a certificate of their origin, otherwise it is possible to claim they were stolen from some museum or were illegaly excavated at the protected archaeological sites. 

It is not known, whether all of the tablets received, were kept by the company or sold further to the third parties. 

Smuggling business, however, is not the only thing the particular company is notorious for.

Previously, the company won a Supreme Court case in which it argued that as a Christian company, it should not be paying for birth control for employees under the ACA, claiming that doing so would pose a grave danger for the Christian values.

The company leadership, however, apparently “forgot” that smuggling is not a Christian value either.

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