The Day Kim Kardashian Inadvertently Solved The Theft Of An Egyptian Relic

The world of art and collecting is one of the places with more fraud and hoaxes due to the amount of money involved in the business. However, many pieces that reach the level of collectibles or antiques are considered cultural heritage, and selling them is often taken as a crime. Despite being illegal, the black

Isabel Cara

The Day Kim Kardashian Inadvertently Solved The Theft Of An Egyptian Relic

Iby4tfx5ojhbnd6dgipjzf7ls4 - the day kim kardashian inadvertently solved the theft of an egyptian relic

The world of art and collecting is one of the places with more fraud and hoaxes due to the amount of money involved in the business. However, many pieces that reach the level of collectibles or antiques are considered cultural heritage, and selling them is often taken as a crime.

Despite being illegal, the black market selling stolen historical and forged pieces in search of profit results in hundreds of investigations around the world aiming to find the original works and those responsible for the frauds. Interestingly, in one of these cases, socialite and businesswoman Kim Kardashian was a key player in solving the mystery behind a great art robbery, just by posing next to an Egyptian tomb for a photo.

The scene

The blissful photo was taken during the 2018 MET Gala, where among the outfits stood out the one Kim wore, a gold dress with cross details in its embroidery and heels of the same color.

Despite not being one of the most extravagant looks, it did steal several glances, and Kim herself thought that her outfit resembled one of the MET Gala decorations: a golden Egyptian tomb, so she decided to take a picture next to it to upload it to Instagram.

However, what no one expected was that someone would recognize the tomb in the photograph as a genuine Egyptian piece and not just a simple imitation, so an investigation that had been unresolved for quite some time could be set in motion again.

O7bkgg7yyjghffv5zuayxhv3wq - the day kim kardashian inadvertently solved the theft of an egyptian relic

After the photograph

Further investigation indicated that the piece was the coffin of Nedjemankh. The Egyptian piece had been unearthed and stolen from Egypt around 2013, and its whereabouts were unknown.

It was an anonymous informant from the Middle East who raised the initial alarm to Matthew Bogdanos, Manhattan District Discal Assistant, as the source had another photo of the tomb that he had received from a group of looters.

From these clues, the relic’s path to the MET Gala could be traced back, and it turned out to be a story full of forgeries, deceit, and many culprits involved.

How did the tomb get to New York?

Our story begins with the group of looters who gave the photo to the anonymous source who first raised the alarm, for it was they who dug up the tomb in the first place and gave it to Hassan Fazeli, an antiquities dealer.

Hassan himself filled out an authenticity form declaring the piece as a “Greco-Roman” relic to hide its Egyptian origin and then sold it to Robert Dib, the manager of the Dionysos Gallery in Germany.

Ezoutj7wbzhfvmb7jtfuqf35r4 - the day kim kardashian inadvertently solved the theft of an egyptian relic

Dib set about the task of restoring the piece, making it ready for export. But in the process, he made a second forgery by creating an export license and indicating that the tomb was legally exported in 1971.

Once the piece had all these “permits,” Christopher Kunicki and Richard Semper, two antiquities dealers, acquired the coffin to sell it to the MET for more than $4 million, and the tomb finally arrived at its final resting place.

Retaliation and Caution

Uncovering a story with so many parts was no easy task, and once the whole hoax was uncovered, Robert Dib was arrested in 2020, while the MET did not face legal reprisals because they were the ones deceived, but they did improve their system of acquisitions of historical pieces.

But none of this would have been possible without the indirect help of Kim Kardashian, who if she already had many accomplishments and feats, can now add “art savior” to her repertoire.

Translated by María Isabel Carrasco Cara Chards