Forfeiture of ancient tablet bought by Hobby Lobby approved


PLANTATION, FL – JUNE 30: A Hobby Lobby store is seen on June 30, 2014 in Plantation, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) — A federal judge in New York has approved the forfeiture of a 3,500-year-old clay tablet bearing a portion of the Epic of Gilgamesh that was looted from Iraq and sold for $1.6 million to Hobby Lobby for display in the Museum of the Bible.

The cuneiform tablet was written in the ancient language of Akkadian and dates from around 1500 B.C.

Prosecutors say it was illegally transported to the U.S. in 2003 and again in 2014.

The tablet was seized from the Museum of the Bible in 2019.

A message seeking comment was left with Oklahoma City-based Hobby Lobby on Wednesday.

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