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Hobby Lobby Surrenders Cuneiforms, Pays Fine

July 8, 2017

Hobby Lobby issued a statement on July 5 stating that it has reached a settlement with the United States Attorney’s Office concerning its purchase of clay cuneiform tablets. The statement reads in part,

The Company was new to the world of acquiring these items, and did not fully appreciate the complexities of the acquisitions process. This resulted in some regrettable mistakes. The Company imprudently relied on dealers and shippers who, in hindsight, did not understand the correct way to document and ship these items. However, since learning of these errors, the Company has been an active participant with the government’s investigation and supports its efforts to protect the world’s ancient heritage. At no time did Hobby Lobby ever purchase items from dealers in Iraq or from anyone who indicated that they acquired items from that country. Hobby Lobby condemns such conduct and has always acted with the intent to protect ancient items of cultural and historical importance. Hobby Lobby has implemented acquisition policies and procedures based on the industry’s highest standards established by the Association of Art Museum Directors (“AAMD”). The AAMD policies have been vetted by global museum directors and lawmakers alike, and represent the gold standard for protecting ancient heritage artifacts.

According to the Christian Post, the settlement includes a $3 million fine for Hobby Lobby.

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