Spotlight on Hobby Lobby’s Biblical Collection After Smuggle Case

A day after craft chain Hobby Lobby agreed to pay a $3 million fine and return smuggled Iraqi artifacts, two professors called on the company to reveal the source of thousands of other antiquities in its massive Bible-themed collection.

The evangelical Christian family that owns the retail firm has spent tens of millions of dollars amassing 40,000 ancient items but hasn’t publicly identified the provenance of most of them, said Candida Ross and Joel Baden, academics who co-wrote the forthcoming book, “Bible Nation: The United States of Hobby Lobby.”

That’s a problem, Ross said Thursday, because “if you don’t know where the item you have bought came from or who it was legally sold to… it’s possible that item was stolen.”

A spokeswoman for Hobby Lobby said she had no immediate comment on the other items in the collection or calls for more transparency.

Image: Hobby Lobby

Hobby Lobby has agreed to forfeit smuggled Iraqi antiquities.