Kim Kardashian she is used to making headlines also for her burning statements but, in this case, she doesn’t want to know anything: the model and entrepreneur, who rose to the honors of gossip with the reality show dedicated to her family, has denied any involvement in the illegal export of an ancient Roman statue. But according to the US authorities, who have initiated contacts with the Italian counterparts to start the return procedures, the archaeological find would be part of a substantial shipment of ancient objects, worth a total of about 750 thousand dollars, in the name of the showgirl.
The story of the Roman statue
Passing among its 218 million followers, the news quickly made its way around the web and the world. In fact, it seems that the statue, indicated in the documents for restitution as “Fragment of Athena of Samos of Myron”, was sacked from an archaeological site. The case dates back to 2016, when the artifact arrived at the port of Los Angeles, immediately attracting the attention of customs officials. In the delivery form, which specified the recipient, the buyer and the importer, the words “Kim Kardashian dba Noel Roberts Trust” were indicated, that is “Kim Kardashian as Noel Roberts Trust”, a company through which Kardashian has often bought works of art and antiques, as well as real estate. The famous Belgian art dealer made the sale Axel Vervoordt, to whom the former couple commissioned the furniture for the Los Angeles home.
Immediately after the seizure, the sculpture was analyzed by two US experts and an archaeologist from the Ministry of Culture, who determined that the work, in marble, could be a copy of an ancient Greek statue, dated from the 6th century BC. in the 4th century AD and sacked, smuggled and illegally exported from Italy.
The statements of Kardashian and Vervoordt
“Kim never bought this piece – it may have been purchased using her name without authorization, and because it was never received, she was unaware of the transaction,” a Kardashian representative told the Daily Mail. According to Kardashian, the purchase of the statue was ordered five years ago by the now ex-husband, rapper Kanye West, who however indicated the woman’s name as the recipient of the shipment of the 40 pieces, for a total value of 745,882 dollars.
For the Carabinieri of the nucleus for the Protection of Cultural Heritage, the statue was also exhibited in the Vervoordt stand, in 2011, on the occasion of the TEFAF fair. “We bought this piece in good faith from a French gallery that had also bought it in just as good faith from a German auction house,” said a spokesperson for Vervoordt, who gave his full willingness to collaborate to clarify the matter. . «The former collector was English but the traces seem to stop there. However, there is no evidence that this piece was illegally imported from Italy. Our client, as well as our gallery and the gallery from which we bought the piece, have always acted in good faith in dealing with the work ».