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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Watch CPAC Live on July 19, 2017 at 1PM EDT
The Roman Libyan site of Leptis Magna.
The Cultural Property Advisory Committee (CPAC) meets today to consider a request to erect American import protections on endangered cultural property from Libya.

The meeting will take place today at 1 p.m.  EDT. Viewers can watch live by clicking here.

The May 30 request asks the United States to impose import restrictions on archaeological and ethnological objects objects dating from prehistoric, Greek, Roman, Islamic, and Ottoman times.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Hobby Lobby Forfeiture: $3 Million is Not a Fine. So What Is It?
The case of United States v. Approximately Four Hundred Fifty (450) Ancient Cuneiform Tablets and Approximately Three Thousand (3,000) Ancient Clay Bullae--the Hobby Lobby cultural artifacts case--involves two parts:

(1) the court forfeiture of 3,450 cuneiform tablets and clay bullae illegally imported into the United States, and specifically named in the caption of the civil case, and

(2) the administrative forfeiture of $3 million in proceeds along with 144 unlawfully imported cylinder seals, which is outlined in the companion settlement agreement filed with the federal district court in Brooklyn, New York.

So how did prosecutors arrive at this $3 million figure?

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Hobby Lobby forfeiture case leads to no prosecutions but seizure of artifacts.
Cuneiform tablet subject to forfeiture.
After a six and a half year probe by federal authority into ancient cultural property imports acquired by Hobby Lobby, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Brooklyn yesterday filed a forfeiture complaint as part of a settlement agreement with the arts and crafts company.

The agreement, filed today in federal district court, confiscates Hobby Lobby's antiquities purchases, compels the Oklahoma-based corporation to forfeit cash proceeds related to the unlawful imports, and mandates the company's personnel to follow ethical collecting guidelines. Failure to comply with the settlement terms could cost Hobby Lobby $2,000 per day.