JERUSALEM (RNS) – The arrest of five antiquities dealers who allegedly helped Hobby Lobby purchase illegally obtained ancient artifacts has shone a spotlight on the sale of antiquities in Israel and revived questions about the ethics of the trade in general.This article is basically a recap of what we already knew, but it includes commentary by some prominent Israeli archaeologists.
On July 30 five Jerusalem-based Palestinian dealers were arrested and charged with tax evasion on the sale, which took place in the United Arab Emirates. Israeli and American authorities believe the dealers drafted bogus invoices and receipts for antiquities sold to Steve Green, president of the national craft store chain.
Background on Hobby Lobby's recent settlement with the U.S. Justice Department over improperly acquired antiquities is here and links. And follow the links there for past posts on the Green Collection and the soon-to-open Museum of the Bible.
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