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A US district court ordered the decay of a rare cuneiform tablet known as the Gilgamesh Dream Tablet. The tablet, which contains part of the Epic of Gilgamesh, comes from what is now Iraq and was sold to Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. for display in the Museum of the Bible.
According to changed complaints, an antique dealer and a US cuneiform expert sent the tablet to the US unannounced and the antique dealer sold it with a false certificate of provenance. The tablet eventually ended up in an auction house where it was sold to Hobby Lobby. Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Department of Justice’s Department of Criminal Investigation said the confiscation “demonstrates the department’s continued commitment to eliminating smuggled cultural assets from the US art market.” The plan is to bring the tablet back to its country of origin.
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