Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Biblical History at What Cost? Hobby Lobby, the Museum of the Bible and the antiquities market

By Roberta Mazza • 07/24/2017
This cuneiform tablet is one of the thousands of ancient objects purchased by Hobby Lobby that was seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Photo: United States Department of Justice.
On July 5, 2017, the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York issued a press release stating that a civil complaint was filed to forfeit thousands of cuneiform tablets and clay bullae originating from modern Iraq and smuggled into the United States through the United Arab Emirates and Israel. As explained in the complaint available online, these artifacts (over 3,500 items) were purchased in the context of amassing what is known as the Green collection—around 40,000 objects of various kinds, from ancient papyri to modern prints of the Bible, assembled by the Green family, owners of the Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. This collection was meant to form the core of what is nowadays known as the Museum of the Bible, which opens in Washington, D.C. in November. [More]

Special thanks to Nancy Current for sending this article to Alpha Omega Arts yesterday. We appreciate all such tips about news on art of the religious imagination.