Museum of the Bible’s founder will return 11,500 artifacts

After years of pressure to return potentially smuggled artifacts, the Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC, is facing yet another blow.

Its board chairman, Steve Green, who is also president of the Hobby Lobby stores, is returning 11,500 antiquities from his biblical art collection to the governments of Iraq and Egypt, with the assistance of the museum he opened in late 2017.

Questions about the provenance of Green’s $30 million collection, which he began amassing in 2009, have plagued the museum for years.

In 2017, Hobby Lobby returned 5,500 smuggled Iraqi artifacts and paid a $3 million fine as part of a settlement with the US government. A lawsuit had accused the company of importing the ancient cuneiform tablets by claiming they were tile samples. Read more

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