Criminal & Juvenile Law in U.S -  Hobby Lobby illegally smuggled artifacts (175 views) Notify me whenever anyone posts in this discussion.Subscribe
 
From: Glen (GEAATL) DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by hostJul-6 7:41 PM 
To: All  (1 of 10) 
 137303.1 

Hobby Lobby fined $3 million for artifacts smuggled from Iraq - Washington Post

Washington Post
The arts-and-crafts retailer Hobby Lobby has agreed to pay a $3 million fine
 

 
From: RGoss99Jul-9 10:36 PM 
To: Glen (GEAATL) DelphiPlus Member Icon  (2 of 10) 
 137303.2 in reply to 137303.1 

What is the ratio between the fine and the value of the theft. Is HL going to track down the purchases, like a car recall, and return them to their rightful owner.

I suspect that, even after paying his fine, HL will still have made money on the deal.

Related personal experience. During the Spanish Civil war relgious establishments were looted. In reforming my older then Columbus house, I purchased

and modified, two light fixtures, one medieval, the other 18c. I  did this through a reputable antique dealer, who gave me a certificate, that, in effect, said,

these objects were not stolen from a church. It does not matter if this is true or not, because if the church discovers that I have them, all they have to

do is file a claim, and the objects will be returned, I will not be out any money, because of the certificate, which obligates the antique dealer to

refund my money. He, in turn, gets refunded from his source, etc.

As a part of our fairs, antique dealers, set up booths bost as advertising for theri shops, and to sell interesting objects. I saw an interesting object

at one such booth, and asked the dealer what it was. He told me it was a tabernacle probably ripped from a private chapel during the civil war (it was basicly

a guilded façade backed by a wooden box, designed to be anchored in a square hole. I was not interested in buying just interested. However something

bothered me, first it was rather large for a tabernacle, and secondly, its curved door, designed to slide into the box when open, had some rather unusual

art work. Most tabernacles, have a cross, the chi rho symbol, grapes and wheat or other traditional symbol, buit his had a mountain top, alter, man holding a knife

and a ram, caught in some bushes. Obviously representing the OT story of Abraham´s non sacrifice of his son, Isaac. OK sacrifice is a tie, but not one

I had seen on traditional tabernacles. I asked the dealer, if I could examine it clsely, and my concerns were correct it was not a tabernacle. The clue was

if this was a Spanish civil war relique, why were the carpenter´s pencil marking, in gothic script (you know that rather pointy writing used in German

writing before and into the Hitler era. TDhe dealer thanked me, saying he would check it out, later thanking me again in a letter, because even though

he was covered by the same type document I had for my light fixtures, selling stolen goods, even by mistake is not good for his reputation. In checking it

out it turned out that this was stolen, and identified on a list of stolen items from a 17c Jewish synagogue in Germany. It was not a tabernacle, but the ceremonial

container used to hold the Torah, found in synagogues all around the world. This also explains the height because the actuall tabernacle in a church is usually

designed to hold communion vessels, where the height-width ratio,is seldom more then 2 to 1. But if you imagine a box meant to hold two rolls of Bounty, with a

stick through the tube of each, you would need a ratio of more then 2 to 1. I have attended Bar Mitzvahs, where the kid, takes out the Torah and places it on

the lecturn from which to read it, where the height of the scrolls plus handlse were about a meter in height. As he was an honest dealer who dealt with honest dealer

not only did he get his money back, but so also did two more dealers up the chain of possession, it was the dealer 4 generations back who was out of pocket.

 

Iraq has a more difficult problem. As art, and organic material, the container for the Torah would be rather hard to fake. However anywhere you go in the

Muslim countries, one can purchase real or fake ancient artifacts at around the corner shops, or on the street. this is because most sold are made of clay, or stone,

and a good artist, using the same techniques can copy them, not only that, some clay ones are made from ancient molds so there is basicly no difference.

Even fake coins can get buy, unless you are a professional. I have two clay lamps, little round covered pots, spout on one side (for the wick), hole in the cover

to add the olive oil, and a handle on the other side. Think of a crude Aladan´s lamp. I am not worried, because they only cost about 3€ each. While they are

common artifacts, if the dealer was trying to pass them as real, they would probably cost about 50€.

 

 
From: RGoss99Jul-9 10:36 PM 
To: Glen (GEAATL) DelphiPlus Member Icon  (3 of 10) 
 137303.3 in reply to 137303.1 

Adding, I first heard of the Hobby Lobby not because of artifacts, but the religious issue of permitting employees to be covered for contraceptive items on their insurance because of the owner´s supposed religious beliefs.

While there is nothing in the Bible mentioning contraceptives, there is a lot about fraud, stealing, etc.

 

 
From: Glen (GEAATL) DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by hostJul-9 10:45 PM 
To: RGoss99  (4 of 10) 
 137303.4 in reply to 137303.3 

A bit from the NY Times:


"Prosecutors said in the complaint that Hobby Lobby, whose evangelical Christian owners have long maintained an interest in the biblical Middle East, began in 2009 to assemble a collection of cultural artifacts from the Fertile Crescent. The company went so far as to send its president and an antiquities consultant to the United Arab Emirates to inspect a large number of rare cuneiform tablets — traditional clay slabs with wedge-shaped writing that originated in Mesopotamia thousands of years ago. In 2010, as a deal for the tablets was being struck, an expert on cultural property law who had been hired by Hobby Lobby warned company executives that the artifacts might have been looted from historical sites in Iraq, and that failing to determine their heritage could break the law.  Despite these words of caution, the prosecutors said, Hobby Lobby bought more than 5,500 artifacts — the tablets and clay talismans and so-called cylinder seals — from an unnamed dealer for $1.6 million in December 2010."

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/05/nyregion/hobby-lobby-artifacts-smuggle-iraq.html

 

 
From: RGoss99Jul-10 7:47 AM 
To: Glen (GEAATL) DelphiPlus Member Icon  (5 of 10) 
 137303.5 in reply to 137303.4 

Remember the case, but not sure how it relates. Hobby Lobby at least is guilty of bad judgement, at the other end of the scale is guilty of cultural theft.

Note that the UAE is no where near the fertil crescent, is rich, and has a reputation as a clearing house for all sorts of bad stuff.

 

 
From: Bike (URALTOURIST1) DelphiPlus Member IconJul-12 8:14 PM 
To: Glen (GEAATL) DelphiPlus Member Icon  (6 of 10) 
 137303.6 in reply to 137303.1 

I kind of think you took a mean pill when you wrote your promo.  Massive International Crime Ring?  Get a nap.  Yeah, they were sort of stupid, but Crime Ring?  More like they were sort of suckered by unethical or illegal foreign antiquities merchants, any sale is a good sale and a little creative manipulation is fine as well.  They were more guilty of association rather than complicit crime.

Is theft okay if you're Christian?

Until he got busted, Hobby Lobby's owner led a massive international crime ring
 

Warren
 
USCG Engineer 1961-1982
 
 
 

 
From: Glen (GEAATL) DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by hostJul-12 8:16 PM 
To: Bike (URALTOURIST1) DelphiPlus Member Icon  (7 of 10) 
 137303.7 in reply to 137303.6 

I think I was overly polite.  He belongs in prison.

Quoting from this thread as to why they got fined millions after $1.6 million in purchases, "as a deal for the tablets was being struck, an expert on cultural property law who had been hired by Hobby Lobby warned company executives that the artifacts might have been looted from historical sites in Iraq, and that failing to determine their heritage could break the law.  Despite these words of caution, the prosecutors said, Hobby Lobby bought more than 5,500 artifacts" 

 

 
From: Bike (URALTOURIST1) DelphiPlus Member IconJul-13 4:03 PM 
To: Glen (GEAATL) DelphiPlus Member Icon  (8 of 10) 
 137303.8 in reply to 137303.7 

Of course the sellers, being super ethical, also advised Hobby Lobby that these artifacts were possible protected items.

NOT!

 

Warren
 
USCG Engineer 1961-1982
 
 
 

 
From: Glen (GEAATL) DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by hostJul-13 4:06 PM 
To: Bike (URALTOURIST1) DelphiPlus Member Icon  (9 of 10) 
 137303.9 in reply to 137303.8 

Bike (URALTOURIST1) said...

Of course the sellers, being super ethical, also advised Hobby Lobby that these artifacts were possible protected items.

Although anyone of reasonable intelligence (especially someone with lots of money who had spent years collecting biblical artifacts) should have known or suspected a criminal (rather like the obvious criminality of the person on a sidewalk offering to sell you that "Rolex" for just $25), I think it's rather obvious the sellers likely knew what they did they did was illegal.

 

 
From: Bike (URALTOURIST1) DelphiPlus Member IconJul-14 11:08 AM 
To: Glen (GEAATL) DelphiPlus Member Icon  (10 of 10) 
 137303.10 in reply to 137303.9 

And the sellers knew that it would be easy to assist the addict to his next fix, the addict being very easily convinced that what was was not what it probably indeed was, an iffy purchase.

A truly dedicated Christian who wants to tell the story of God and his coming out to mankind is not about to be deterred by some secular rules that simply interfere with the Good Work.

 

Warren
 
USCG Engineer 1961-1982
 
 
 

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