"Bittersweet Vindication" - Fake? Illegal? Welcome to the Museum of the Bible in Washington DC

October 23, 2018

 

 "The Dead Sea forgeries could be part of the most significant sham in Biblical archaeology..."

 

UPDATE: The Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC announced that five of its "most valuable artifacts...are fake and will not be displayed anymore." Those artifacts were thought to be fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls. This is not the first time the Bible Museum has faced questions concerning its holdings. The museum was founded by the Green family, owners of the chain of Hobby Lobby stores in the United States. A large portion of the museum's collection came from the Green family's private collection. The Green family was forced to pay a $3 million fine and return 5,500 artifacts were that were found to have been illegally removed from Iraq. (The 2017 photo of the entrance to the Museum of the Bible by Fuzheado is shared here under CC BY-SA 4.0).

 

See

Bible Museum says that five of its Dead Sea Scrolls are fake

By Daniel Burke

CNN

October 22, 2018

 

ORIGINAL POST: Hobby Lobby is a national chain of stores dedicated to arts and crafts supplies. David Green opened the first store in 1972 in Oklahoma and eventually expanded the chain nationwide; by 2015, Hobby Lobby had more than 600 stores across the United States. Hobby Lobby remains a closely-held private for-profit corporation headed by the Green family, devout Christians who profess to incorporate their religious beliefs into their corporate policies. Hobby Lobby entered the national conversation about health care policy in 2012 when the company filed a lawsuit challenging the federal requirement to include contraception in health insurance policies offered by companies to their employees. The lawsuit was resolved in the company’s favor in a controversial decision by the US Supreme Court which held, in effect, that private closely-held corporations like Hobby Lobby had the same religious freedom protections guaranteed to US citizens by the Constitution.

 

In 2012, the Museum of the Bible was incorporated as a non-profit organization, with David Green, CEO of Hobby Lobby, as the Chair of the Board of Trustees and with the Green family the primary funders of the organization. The Green family also has donated thousands of artifacts to the museum’s collections, which also contains acquisitions from other sources and will include temporary loans from partner institutions in the US and abroad. The museum is under construction (see photo) in Washington DC and is scheduled to open in Fall 2017.

 

Although Hobby Lobby, a private for-profit corporation, and the Museum of the Bible, a private non-profit organization, are separate entities, they are inextricably linked by the involvement of the Green family. This relationship became particularly problematic with the recent announcement by the US Department of Justice of a $3 million settlement and the return of 5,500 illegally-acquired artifacts from Iraq, objects acquired by Hobby Lobby.

 

For more information—

 

Read

Hobby Lobby’s $3 million smuggling case casts a cloud over the Museum of the Bible

By Julie Zauzmer and Sarah Pulliam Bayley

The Washington Post

July 6, 2017

 

Hobby Lobby’s Black Market Buys Did Real Damage

By Candida Moss and Joel Baden

The New York Times

July 6, 2017

 

United States Files Civil Action To Forfeit Thousands Of Ancient Iraqi Artifacts Imported By Hobby Lobby

Press Release: US Department of Justice

July 5, 2017

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