US prosecutors ask Kim Kardashian to turn over an antique Roman statue believed to be looted from Italy


Kim Kardashian Skims




Summary List Placement

US federal prosecutors have asked Kim Kardashian West to surrender ownership of a classical Roman statue believed to have been looted from Italy.


kim kardashian statue


On June 15, 2016, US Customs and Border Protection agents seized Fragment of Myron's Samian Athena, a statue thought to have been sculpted in the first- or second-century AD, at the Long Beach Seaport in Los Angeles, according to an April 30 civil complaint filed by a Justice Department prosecutor.


The statue is still in CBP possession, the complaint said.


Documents accompanying the statue submitted to CBP by Masterpiece International, the broker, showed that it had been imported and consigned by Kardashian West and the Noel Roberts Trust, according to the complaint.


The Noel Roberts Trust is a financial entity which has been linked with several of Kardashian West's property purchases. 


An invoice for the sale of the statue to the Noel Roberts Trust was dated March 11, 2016, the complaint said.


The statue, which depicts the lower half of a female body, came as part of a 40-piece shipment of antiques that cost an estimated $745,882, the complaint said.


In the complaint, the prosecutors called on Kardashian West to forfeit the statue, claiming that that it "was illegally imported and entered into the United States."


The complaint, which does not accuse Kardashian West of any wrongdoing, said that evidence submitted to US officials by Masterpiece International, Italian officials, and the Axel Vervoordt art gallery, the purported vendor, suggested that the statue was exported from Italy illegally.


Masterpiece International supplied the CBP with documents showing that the statue had been sold to Vervoordt by the Galerie Chenel, a sculpture business in Paris, the complaint said.


However, some of the information in those documents — such as that the statue was described as "a large draped statue" that came from Italy — clashed with an affidavit from Robert Lauwers, a director at Axel Vervoodt, who said the statue didn't come from Italy, the complaint said.


Vervoordt, a Belgian art dealer and interior designer, worked closely with Kardashian West and her husband Kanye West's on the Los Angeles home that they unveiled in February 2020.


Italian authorities said there was no evidence that the statue was legally exported from Italy, the complaint said.


kim kardashian west


Furthermore, in July 2016, Italian police officers working with the country's Ministry of Cultural Heritage told the CBP that they believed Vervoordt was in possession of the statue before his purported 2012 purchase.


Italy has asked that the US return the statue to Italy, the complaint said. 


Insider could not immediately reach representatives for Kardashian for comment. A spokesman for Kardashian West told MailOnline that his client had no knowledge of the purchase. 


"Kim never purchased this piece and this is the first that she has learned of its existence," the spokesman 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."


Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Professional chef debunks 13 biggest cooking myths