Kim Kardashian has been ordered to hand over an ancient Roman marble statue to federal authorities after they concluded that it had been “ looted, smuggled and illegally exported from Italy. ”
The statue, which shows the bottom half of a woman from the waist down, bears the title Fragment of Myron Samian Athena.
It was imported to Los Angeles in 2016, while Kardashian and Kanye West renovated their home in Calabasas.
Axel Vervoordt, a celebrated Belgian interior designer and antiques and art dealer, oversaw the design and is mentioned in court documents along with Kardashian.
Kim Kardashian and then-husband Kanye West bought the statue for their home in Calabasas
The ancient Roman statue was described as Fragment of Myron Samian Athena
Vervoordt, who has worked on their properties with Sting and Trudie Styler, Robert de Niro and Bill Gates, bought a statue from Galerie Chenel in Paris in November 2012 – a place specializing in Roman antiquities.
They said the statue was part of an ‘Old German Collection, bought before 1980’.
The precise value of the statue is unknown, but it arrived as part of a 5.5-ton shipment that is described as containing 40 antiques, modern furniture and decorative objects, valued at $ 745,882.
It was imported on a US tariff schedule for “antiques over 100 years old,” as opposed to archaeological material.
When the statue of Kardashian was inspected by customs in Los Angeles, they provided a receipt for the purchase of Gallery Chenel.
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West in their Calabasas home, designed by Vervoordt
The minimalist house was described by West as ‘a futuristic Belgian monastery’
Kardashian in the house, which was featured in Architectural Digest
But Los Angeles prosecutors have concluded that the statue of Kardashian is not the one purchased in 2012, but another, illegally obtained.
Galerie Chenel’s November 2012 bill did not appear to be in favor of defendant’s statute as the term ‘a large draped statue’ would refer to a full / whole draped statue of natural size and a ‘fragment of Myron Samian Athena’ alone would refer to one
part of a statue, that’s what the defendant’s statue is, ”court documents read.
“In addition, the invoice Masterpiece International handed to CBP contained handwritten notes indicating that the defendant’s statue was from Italy.”
In June 2016, customs seized the statue after concluding that “ the evidence showed that the defendant’s statue had been identified as archaeological or ethnological material, ” and they were not convinced by the 2012 bill.
A month later, Italian authorities confirmed that they believed the statue of Kardashian had appeared on Vervoordt’s booth at the European Fine Art Fair in Maastricht, the Netherlands in March 2011 – a year before Vervoordt claimed to have bought it.
In February 2018, an archaeologist from the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage examined the statue of Kardashian.
Kardashian poses for Vogue indoors
The statue was part of a crate of items shipped to their home from Europe
According to court documents, “The archaeologist stated that the defendant’s statue is of classic Peplophoros style (early to mid-Roman Empire), which is a copy of an original Greek sculpture.”
They concluded that it was the same image that appeared at the 2011 art fair, rather than the one purchased at the Paris art gallery.
The statue of Kardashian had not been registered and had appropriate permits for sale and export, which is why ‘the archaeologist was of the opinion that the defendant’s statute had been looted, smuggled and illegally exported from Italy’.
Still, the Paris antiques dealer said the prosecutors had made a mistake and that there were not two statues.
They blamed a mix-up of paperwork.
Ollivier Chenel, a director of Galerie Chenel, said Artnet News that Vervoordt had the sculpture on loan before it was officially acquired – which would explain why it was on the Vervoordt stand in 2011 and sold to him a year later.
Chenel said the gallery bought the statue from an auction house in Germany in 2010 and it was previously from an English estate.
‘That is very strange [the complaint does not mention] the German auction house as the information was given to them at the time, ”Chenel said.
‘I can guarantee you that this statue was legally obtained from the Hampel auction house in 2010.’
Kardashian did not respond to DailyMail.com’s request for comment, and neither did Vervoordt.
Vervoordt was recruited to work on Kardashian and West’s California home by West, who had a thriving interest in architecture and design.
He had met Vervoordt at design fairs in Maastricht and Venice.
When I saw what kind of work he did, I thought, this man could design Batman’s house. I had to work with him, ”said West Architectural summary in February 2020, when the magazine put their ‘futuristic Belgian monastery’ on the cover.
“It was a coup to get Axel to Calabasas to rebuild a McMansion, which is essentially what the house was.”
West had interviewed Vervoordt for a feature film from 2018 in The Hollywood Reporter.
You always say, ‘Think globally, act locally’. So even now, one of the requests I have for you is how do we build our furniture in LA and don’t let it stop at customs, coming from Belgium? West asked.
Vervoort replied: ‘I think we are looking for something that goes with it, that was always there, and that will make it more timeless in the future, but it is also connected to the origin.
‘That is always the quest that goes very far in the past and that is how you go far into the future.’