Kim Kardashian and her family are known for a number of things, whether it be breaking the internet through thirst traps or working through drama on their reality TV show. But this would mark the first time that the SKIMS entrepreneur has been linked to international smuggling, whether intentional or not. Kardashian and her team, however, have a response to the insinuations that she bought an ancient statue that was supposedly "smuggled" out of Italy.
According to NBC News, the ancient Roman statue in question is almost 2,000 years old, dating somewhere from 1 to 2 A.D. It was discovered by U.S. Customs in a shipment five years ago with “Kim Kardashian dba Noel Roberts Trust” listed as the consignee and importer. A representative for Kim Kardashian told NBC News that she did not buy the statue and was just learning about its existence. They also 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.
A civil complaint by Italian authorities filed in Los Angeles federal court is claiming the statue was "looted, smuggled and illegally exported" and demands its return to Italy. The statue was found among 40 other pieces in the original shipment, which were valued at roughly $745,882. The court filings indicate that, in the original investigation of the shipment in 2016, there was “an unsworn affidavit stating that the statue did not originate there.” Apparently, the broker was ultimately unable to provide “sufficient documentation,” prompting the statue’s seizure.
The name of the trust listed as the importer is certainly tied to the reality star. Kim Kardashian’s middle name is Noel, and her father and brother’s names are Robert. But even though the situation looks a little murky at the moment, Kardashian is not officially accused of anything in the complaint.
However, it is interesting that Axel Vervoordt’s art company is noted as the original purchaser of the statue before they sold it to an “American client.” Vervoordt, a famous Belgian designer, has strong ties to both Kim Kardashian and her soon-to-be ex-husband Kanye West. He even helped design their Hidden Hills mansion. Their connection, coupled with Kardashian’s name listed as the importer, is likely why she is caught up in the international situation currently unfolding.
Anne-Sophie Dusselier, a representative for Axel Vervoordt’s company, also told NBC News that this was their first time learning about the forfeiture request of the statue. They claim the statue was acquired in “good faith” from a French gallery and then a German auction house before them. She said, “There is no evidence that this piece was illegally imported from Italy.”
Hopefully, the ancient statue finds its way back to its original homeland. If we remember the iconic film The Mummy, looted artifacts don’t always bode well for those who attempt to take them illegally.