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Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

Hobby Lobby under Investigation for Illegally Importing Ancient Biblical Artifacts

  • Veronica Neffinger
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2015 Oct 27
  • Comments

The owners of Hobby Lobby are under investigation for allegedly bringing ancient Biblical artifacts into the country illegally.


Christian Today reports that David and Barbara Green, the founders and owners of Hobby Lobby, are known for their Christian convictions.


Last year, the couple won a Supreme Court case against the government when they challenged the Obamacare mandate that businesses provide certain kinds of contraception under their health care programs.


Now, however, the couple is under investigation for a possible illegal importation of ancient artifacts.


The couple has been collecting ancient artifacts to be housed in the Museum of the Bible which they hope to open in Washington D.C. in 2017. 


Some of the artifacts they were having shipped to the U.S. included ancient cuneiform tablets from Iraq. A shipment of about 200-300 of these tablets were investigated by customs agents under the suspicion that they were imported illegally.


Museum of the Bible President Cary Summers said the customs agents’ investigation of the shipment was due to “incomplete paperwork that was attached to it.”


However, a report from The Daily Beast suggests that the offense may have been more serious.


The Daily Beast report found that the tablets may have been deliberately and hugely undervalued and purposefully incorrectly labelled as “hand-crafted clay tiles,” which "vastly underestimates their true worth, and, just as important, obscures their identification as the cultural heritage of Iraq.”


Steve Green, the CEO of Hobby Lobby, has acknowledged that it is possible that his family may have illegally acquired some ancient artifacts, but he denied that this was a deliberate decision.



Publication date: October 27, 2015