At the beginning of the week, reality star Kim Kardashian was named in court filings alleging she was involved in importing an ancient Roman statue that US officials say was stolen from Italy. Court documents filed in California said the US government has sought the forfeiture of a “looted, smuggled and illegally exported” antique that it believes was being delivered to the star.
Of course, a spokesperson for Kardashian said she “never purchased this piece” and that “this is the first that she has learned of its existence,” adding, “We believe that it may have been purchased using her name without authorisation and because it was never received (and) she was unaware of the transaction.”
Italian officials think the sculpture, described as “Fragment of Myron’s Samian Athena, Limestone, Roman, 1st to 2nd century A.D.,” was originally looted from Italy, and they want it returned. The case actually dates to 2016, when the antique statue arrived at the Port of Los Angeles and immediately caught the attention of US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials.
According to NBC News, the broker provided a form to the CBP that listed the consignee, or buyer, and importer as “Kim Kardashian dba Noel Roberts Trust.” The shipment, described as containing antiques, furniture and decorations, had 40 pieces in all valued at $745,882.
In 2018, an Italian archaeologist concluded that the piece showed signs of having been in Italy during the Roman Empire, and there are no records of its being legally exported as required under a 1909 law. “Based on the information and scientific aspects the archaeologist provided, the archaeologist opined that the defendant statue was looted, smuggled and illegally exported from Italy,” said the filing.
As authorities investigated, they found contradictions between documents that indicated that the statue originated from Italy and an unsworn affidavit stating that it did not originate there. A month later, they seized the statue after the broker did not prove sufficient documentation to American authorities, according to the court filing.
Court papers allege that invoices for the item, submitted by a customs broker, appear to describe two different statues—one originating from Germany and another from Italy. One invoice, dating to when Alex Vervoordt, who has worked with Kardashian and her estranged husband Kanye West on several of their properties, allegedly purchased the statue from a Paris gallery in 2012, describes it as a “large draped statue” from an “Old German collection.”
A second, from when Vervoordt purportedly sold the statue to the Noel Roberts Trust describes it as being only a “fragment” of a statue, with handwritten notes suggesting that it originated from Italy. Italian officials have also alleged that Vervoordt was in possession of the artifact in 2011—the year before he supposedly bought it. Court documents include a photograph of a sculpture taken at Vervoordt’s booth at an art fair in 2011, that the aforementioned archaeologist claims to be the statue in question.
Whether Kardashian knew about the statue beforehand remains unclear, but her and West’s Hidden Hills mansion has been compared to a museum… As the US government tries to legally seize the ancient Roman statue, it definitely doesn’t look like the reality star will show any signs of resistance.
American rapper, record producer, and fashion designer Kanye West just bought his wife Kim Kardashian West a hologram of her late father, lawyer Robert Kardashian, to celebrate her birthday. The hologram, which was made in part using deepfake technology, spoke about Kardashian West’s childhood, before saying: “I am so proud of the woman you have become.” It also said that she married “the most, most, most, most genius man in the whole world, Kanye West.”
The holographic resurrection was made by the production company Kaleida using a gauze it calls ‘Holonet’. This contains real silver, which reflects projected light to create holographic effects. Parts of the Holonet then become transparent to give the impression of solid objects and real people existing in 3D space. It combines this with motion tracking, SFX, VFX, and deepfake technology.
The hologram, which was paid by Kanye West, told Kardashian West she is the “most amazing mother,” praised her career, and said unashamedly praised Kanye West for being “the most, most, most, most genius man in the whole world.” Should we be surprised? I guess not.
“Sometimes I drop hints that I’m around, like when you hear someone make a big peefee, or when you make a big peefee,” the hologram added, referring to the Armenian word for flatulence. Robert Kardashian’s hologram also danced and sang to Barry Mann’s song ‘Who Put the Bomp’.
Kaleida’s past clients include the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Netflix, Nike, and Madam Tussauds. Other celebrities who have previously appeared as holograms include Tupac, Amy Winehouse and Michael Jackson. In 2017, Celine Dion performed ‘If I Can Dream’ on American Idol alongside a hologram of Elvis Presley, and in 2018, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum unveiled a hologram of the former president.
Robert Kardashian was a lawyer and businessman who was best known for serving as defence attorney during OJ Simpson’s 1995 murder trial. He died of oesophagal cancer in July 2003. Kardashian West, who turned 40 on 21 October and celebrated her birthday with friends and family on a private island, shared the video on her Twitter account.
She called the surprise “the most thoughtful gift of a lifetime,” adding that it was “so lifelike.” She watched the hologram over and over, and shared that it made her emotional.
After the reality star said the trip followed “two weeks of multiple health screens and asking everyone to quarantine,” she was accused of being insensitive to families separated by COVID-19. On Twitter, many fans to her tweet, turning it into a viral meme.
Meanwhile, after Kendall Jenner celebrated her 25th birthday this weekend with a Halloween-themed party, a second Kardashian celebrity received backlash from fans. Jenner had reportedly asked attendees not to post any images on social media, which clearly did not go to plan! Her sister Kylie Jenner also posted pictures and videos of the party on Instagram.
Attendees included Saweetie, Doja Cat, The Weeknd, Winnie Harlow, Justin Bieber and Jaden Smith, who appeared to be wearing an oxygen mask.