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U.S. Returns Looted Iraqi Artifacts Acquired by Hobby Lobby

HeadlineMay 03, 2018

The United States has returned thousands of ancient artifacts looted from Iraq and illegally acquired by the U.S.-based Christian craft chain store Hobby Lobby. Wednesday’s handover of 3,800 artifacts to Iraq’s ambassador in Washington came nearly a year after Hobby Lobby agreed to pay a $3 million fine, after it spent over $1.5 million in 2010 to purchase the smuggled artifacts from a dealer based in the United Arab Emirates. The sales violated a ban on the sale of Iraqi cultural artifacts in place since 2004. Hobby Lobby’s owners are conservative Christians who recently opened a Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. In 2014, Hobby Lobby won a landmark decision at the Supreme Court, which ruled that private companies that claim religious objections can refuse to provide birth control coverage to employees.

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