The US government has requested that Kim Kardashian surrender an ancient Roman sculpture that was allegedly smuggled out of Italy illegally.
Kardashian, 40, purchased the limestone statue, dubbed “Fragment of Myron’s Samian Athena,” from Belgium’s Axel Vervoordt Gallery in 2016, according to Artnet.
The antique artwork, which dates from the first or second centuries, was halted upon its arrival in Los Angeles in May 2016 after authorities were alerted to the possibility that it was endangered cultural property, according to the article.
It was part of a $745,882 5.5-ton shipment that included 40 antiques, as well as modern furniture and decorative items.
Further inspection of the statue’s paperwork revealed some inconsistencies, causing officials to become skeptical of its origins.
Italy’s Ministry of Cultural Heritage then sent an archaeologist to inspect the work in 2018.
According to the specialist, it had been “looted, smuggled, and illegally exported from Italy,” prompting the country to request its return.
In a civil forfeiture suit filed in California on Friday, the feds ordered Kardashian to surrender the job. There is no indication she was aware of the statue’s provenance.
According to a spokeswoman for Kardashian, “Kim never bought this piece and is only now learning of its presence.” We assume it was bought in her name without her permission and she was unaware of the transaction since it was never obtained. We support an investigation and hope that it results in the return of the property to its rightful owners.”