Kim Kardashian’s latest legal drama has given a whole new meaning to the term cultural appropriation!
According to reports, the United States government filed a civil forfeiture action last month alleging the KUWTK star imported an antique Roman statue that was smuggled into the country illegally. Uh oh!
The filing claims that the antique statue — known as Fragment of Myron’s Samian Athena, which dates back to the 1st or 2nd century — was seized by Customs and Border Protection when it arrived in Los Angeles in May 2016 after officials discovered that it might be protected cultural property.
Video: Kim’s Crying Face Returns In Emotional KUWTK Clip
The artwork was part of a 5-ton shipment addressed to “Kim Kardashian dba Noel Roberts Trust” in Woodland Hills, which was valued at almost $750,000 and said to contain 40 antiques, modern furniture, and decorative items.
After officials found that the paperwork about the limestone statue had some discrepancies, they grew suspicious about where it came from. They also worried it possibly violated the Cultural Property Implementation Act — which states that archaeological material originating in Italy from the pre-classical, Classical, and Imperial Roman Periods can’t be imported to the US without proper documentation.
So Italy’s Ministry of Cultural Heritage sent an archaeologist in 2018 to examine the work. The expert concluded the artwork had been “looted, smuggled, and illegally exported from Italy,” and the country naturally asked for it back.
But not everyone agrees with Italy’s art expert — specifically Belgian interior designer Axel Vervoordt, who Kimmy Kakes purchased the statue from according to the complaint. An unsworn affidavit signed by Robert Lauwers, director of Vervoordt’s art-historical department, insisted the statue “did not originate from Italy,” which reportedly contradicts an invoice obtained by the CBP upon confiscating the statue.
Either way, there’s no suggestion that Kim was aware of the statue’s origins. Interestingly, though, a rep for the beauty mogul maintains she wasn’t even aware of the artwork’s existence!
A spokesperson for the superstar told Page Six:
“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.”
The plot thickens!
The denial of Kim’s involvement in this transaction is curious, seeing as she’s collaborated with Vervoordt in the past on home decor, and Vervoordt’s team is clearly aware of this statue. Could someone else have simply just used Kim’s name without her permission? Your guess is as good as ours, Perezcious readers, so share your thoughts (below)!
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