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Israeli Authorities Arrest Antiquities Dealers In Connection With Hobby Lobby Scandal

Israel's Antiquities Authority says the dealers, arrested early Sunday morning, were involved in sales of antiquities to Hobby Lobby — including items that U.S. authorities determined were smuggled.
Hobby Lobby agreed earlier this month to a forfeiture of smuggled artifacts. Source: Holly Hildreth

At 3:30 a.m. on Sunday, Israeli police say, authorities arrested five Palestinian antiquities dealers in Jerusalem and confiscated items dating back thousands of years from their homes and shops: papyrus fragments from the Egyptian Book of the Dead, the bust of an Etruscan woman, a fresco from Pompeii depicting swimming fish. They also seized more modern objects — two black luxury Audi vehicles — and more than $200,000 in cash.

NPR has learned the reason for the early Sunday morning arrests: Israel's Antiquities Authority says the dealers were involved in sales of antiquities — including items

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