Last month, Kim Kardashian West was named in court filings alleging she imported an ancient Roman statue that US officials say was looted from Italy. But now, it turns out the Keeping Up With the Kardashians star wasn't behind the illegal purchase at all. So who else could it have been...?
The most likely culprit is none other than the reality star's soon-to-be ex-husband, Kanye West. According to Artnet, court documents filed in California seek the forfeiture of a "looted, smuggled and illegally exported" antique that it believes was being delivered to the star. The complaint calls for the sculpture to be forfeited to the US government, which would in turn likely repatriate the piece to Italy.
Initially, a spokesperson for Kardashian responded to the allegations saying she "never purchased this piece" and that "this is the first that she has learned of its existence."
"We believe that it may have been purchased using her name without authorization and because it was never received (and) she was unaware of the transaction," the spokesperson said in a statement to CNN. "We encourage an investigation and hope that it gets returned to the rightful owners."
However, now new details have emerged courtesy of TMZ. Citing a “source connected to the situation,” the outlet reports that West acquired the sculpture as part of a larger purchase that included additional artworks – without Kardashian's knowledge.
The sculpture in question is a massive draped figure titled Fragment of Myron’s Samian Athena dating back to the 1st or 2nd century, during the early to mid-Roman Empire and it was reportedly purchased from Belgian dealer Axel Vervoordt. It was seized by authorities in Los Angeles in 2016 after arriving in a 5.5-ton shipment that contained $745,000 worth of antiques, of which Kardashian was listed as the consignee and importer.