Police are investigating the alleged looting of ancient papyrus from the renowned Sackler Classics Library in Oxford University by one of the institution’s professor, Dirk Obbink.
Meanwhile, Obbink has since been suspended from all obligations in October 2019. This followed an indictment that he was involved in stealing up to 120 pieces of ancient papyrus belonging to Egypt Exploration Society collection in the Sackler Library. The Associate Professor in Papyrology and Greek Literature, Obbink has however denied these allegations. He officially stated that the accusation leveled against him was “fabricated in a malicious attempt to harm my reputation and career.”
In November 2019, the Chairman of the Egypt Exploration Society declared 120 pieces of collection of Oxyrhynchus Papyri. Dirk Obbink was arrested on 2nd of March 2020 following investigations into the matter. The student newspaper: Oxford Blue has created quite a buzz in the community with the news of his arrest. Further more, Obbink was accused of selling 13bits of papyrus to Hobby Lobby. Also included were some portions of Genesis, Psalms and Romans as stated by the Egypt Exploration Society (EES).
The president of Hobby Lobby, Steve Green was purchasing thousands of artifacts for the museum of Bible. This included the 13 bits of papyrus that were part of his collection for the Museum of the Bible which he inaugurated in 2017. Green has since tendered an apology and the Museum of the Bible is making all efforts to restore all the pilfered artifacts.