The worlds of the Kardashians and high-stakes archeology theft have collided as Kim Kardashian has been named in the issue of a stolen Italian statue. NBC News says Kim was supposed to receive a limestone sculpture but it got held up at customs in 2016 and has since become part of a cultural pillaging of Italian history. But her representatives say Kim had no idea, and the government doesn’t think she did either, but Italy wants their statue returned and Kim and her family should really start considering going to fucking HomeGoods for their decor like everybody else.
The US and Italy work together to prevent the trafficking of pillaged cultural properties from the country, and documentation is required for imports. A shipment arrived in Los Angeles in 2016 and customs officials were worried about it containing “possibly protected cultural property from Italy.” The government’s legal filing said the authorities at US Customs and Border Protection found that the documents contradicted themselves about the statue’s country of origin. And a month later, they seized the statue when the broker didn’t provide sufficient documentation.
In 2018, an Italian archaeologist concluded that the work had “signs” of being in Italy during the Roman Empire, and there were no records of it being exported legally–which was required by law since 1909. In its filing, the US government said:
“Based on the information and scientific aspects the archaeologist provided, the archaeologist opined that the defendant statue was looted, smuggled and illegally exported from Italy.”
The Italian archaeologist determined that the statue is of “classical Peplophoros style,” which represents a copy of an original Greek sculpture, the filing says.
And the Italians want it back!
Italian officials think the sculpture, described as “Fragment of Myron’s Samian Athena, Limestone, Roman, 1st – 2nd century A.D.,” was originally looted from Italy, and they want it returned, according to a civil complaint for forfeiture filed in federal court in Los Angeles last week.
So how was Kim involved? She was listed as the consignee, or buyer, and importer. The shipment listed “Kim Kardashian dba Noel Roberts Trust,” and described its contents as antiques, furniture, and decorations–40 pieces in all valued at $745,882. Kim worked with Belgian art dealer, the Axel Vervoordt Gallery, to help decorate her Calabasas home and the documents show that Kim bought the statue from the same gallery. But a rep told NBC News Kim knew nothing and “this is the first that she has learned of its existence.”
“We believe it may have been purchased using her name without authorization and because it was never received, she was unaware of the transaction. We encourage an investigation and hope that it gets returned to the rightful owners.”
Imagine having so much money that someone blows $750,000 on shit you never receive and you don’t notice? Tax this trick.
Poor Kim getting wrapped up in an international ancient artifact heist. But let’s all give her the benefit of the doubt and assume she actually knew nothing about this. And it could be worse for her. At least no one is asking the Koven to return that ancient Mesopotamian skull Kris Jenner sleeps next to which whispers spells to her at night. Phewf! They need that!