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€.