Feds Seek to Forfeit Ancient Roman Statue from Kim Kardashian

The U.S. government asks Kim Kardashian to forfeit an ancient Roman sculpture that was illegally smuggled out of Italy. The ancient Roman sculpture was headed to Kim Kardashian when seized at Los Angeles’ port five years ago, according to the records.

The antique artwork, which claimed to be from the 1st or 2nd century, was stopped when it arrived in Los Angeles in May 2016. The sculpture caught the attention of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials after an alert that it might be protected cultural property.

In a civil forfeiture complaint filed on Friday in California against Kardashian, the Government orders Kardashian to relinquish the work. However, it was not apparent if she was aware of the origins of the statue.

According to a representative for Kardashian, “Kim never purchased this piece, 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.”

Kardashian reportedly bought the limestone statue from Axel Vervoordt Gallery in Belgium in 2016. The sculpture is known as “Fragment of Myron’s Samian Athena.”

The artwork was part of a 5.5-ton shipment valued at $ 745,882 and contained 40 antiques and modern furniture, and decorative objects. Further examination of the statute’s paperwork had some discrepancies, leading officials to become suspicious about where it had originated.

In 2018, the Ministry of Cultural Heritage of Italy then sent an archaeologist to examine the work, and they concluded that it had been “looted, smuggled, and illegally exported from Italy. The sculpture, described as “Fragment of Myron’s Samian Athena, Limestone, Roman, 1st – 2nd century A.D.,” was originally looted from Italy, and the Italian Government wants it back, according to a civil complaint filed in federal court for the forfeiture of the stolen property.