“Keeping Up with the Kardashians” star, Kim Kardashian, has been named in a federal court complaint regarding a Roman statue which was allegedly “smuggled” from Italy, according to reports.
Fox News reported that “U.S. attorneys filed a complaint in the Central District of California on Friday against One Antique Roman Statue,” and Kardashian is “listed as an individual included in the Noel Roberts Trust who ‘may be adversely affected’ by the filing.”
“According to the complaint obtained by Fox News, the One Antique Roman Statue was seized back in June 2016 by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in Los Angeles. The statue is currently in the custody of CBP. Kardashian, 40, was listed as ‘the consignee and importer name.’”
Fox added that “Included in the shipment was 40 pieces of antique objects estimated with a value of $745,882, documents state. Masterpiece International was listed as the broker of the statue.”
Archaeological material “originating in Italy and representing the pre-classical, Classical and Imperial Roman Periods” is not permitted to be imported to the United States without “proper documentation,” due to the Cultural Property Implementation Act, reported the L.A. Times.
The federal court complaint alleges that a 2018 analysis of the sculpture, conducted by an archaeologist from the Ministry of Cultural Heritage in Italy, deduced that the statue was “looted, smuggled and illegally exported from Italy.”
“As such, Italy’s Carabinieri for the Protection of Cultural Heritage has requested the artifact addressed to Kardashian be returned to its alleged country of origin,” added the L.A. Times.
According to their report, the defendant in the case is the statue, and not Kardashian herself. The Roman sculpture is in CBP custody, and is “identified by the government as ‘Fragment of Myron’s Samian Athena, Limestone, Roman, 1st — 2nd century A.D.’”
The LA Times added that the court documents suggest that “a suspicious package was flagged by CBP upon arriving in Los Angeles on May 3, 2016,” with the parcel containing “a stone sculpture of the lower half of a human figure wearing a dress” being described as “40 pieces of ‘Antiques & Modern Furniture & Decorations Objects’ with a gross weight of [5 tons] and valued at $745,882.”
According to the Daily Beast, Masterpiece International, a customs broker and logistics company, “originally claimed that the statue was acquired at the Galerie Chenel in Paris in 2012 by renowned art dealer Axel Vervoordt,” the same art dealer and interior designer “who worked on Kardashian and West’s Los Angeles estate.”
After customs officials examined the statue, the description of the item did not match the imported statue.
Denying Kardashian’s involvement or impropriety, representatives for the “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” star said, “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,” they added.
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