Hobby Lobby

Updated at 12:55 p.m. ET Wednesday

Nearly 4,000 ill-gotten artifacts will be returned to Iraq on Wednesday, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says. The ancient objects were bought by Hobby Lobby, a national chain of arts and crafts stores, then smuggled into the United States in violation of federal law.

Who Stole The Torahs?

Apr 29, 2018

Before dawn on March 21, 1995, someone broke into a synagogue in the Palestinian city of Nablus.

The Hobby Lobby family’s “Museum of the Bible” opens in Washington with fanfare and controversy over stolen antiquities. We take a look at the issue of stolen antiquities and this groundbreaking new museum.

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

A new museum opened its doors to the public today in Washington, D.C. - the Museum of the Bible.

JUDAH WINEHEART: I'm really excited to see the Gutenberg Bible. They've got a leaf from the first edition.

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.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Updated at 10:20 a.m. ET Thursday.

Hobby Lobby, the Oklahoma-based chain of arts and crafts retail stores, has agreed to pay a $3 million fine and forfeit thousands of ancient clay tablets and clay bullae that were smuggled into the United States with improper labels.

With the Senate Judiciary Committee set to open hearings on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court, the game of confirmation cat and mouse is about to begin. Senators will try to get a fix on Gorsuch's legal views — and the nominee will try to say as little as possible.

Supreme Court scholars and practitioners on the right and left may disagree about whether they want to see Gorsuch confirmed, but in general there is little doubt about the nominee's conservatism. Indeed, his conservative pedigree is the reason he was picked.

A national campaign to rewrite state laws and allow businesses to decide how to care for their injured workers suffered a significant setback Tuesday when the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that Oklahoma's version of the law is unconstitutional.

The family that owns Hobby Lobby, the Oklahoma-based Christian company that became a household name after winning a landmark Supreme Court case last year, is under investigation for illegally importing religious artifacts.

Brian Hardzinski reports for NPR's Newscast unit:

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