The Israel Antiquities Authority believes that a set of ancient ceramic oil lamps missing for more than three years are at Mar-a-Lago, the Florida estate of former President Donald Trump, according to Haaretz.
The news outlet reported Tuesday that the Antiquities Authority loaned the lamps to the White House in 2019 ahead of a Hanukkah party where a major donor to the Israel Antiquities Authority, Saul Fox, would be in attendance. The lamps ultimately did not make an appearance at the event due to concerns the lamps were found in Judea and Samaria.
The return of the items was hindered by the onset of the pandemic in early 2020, when travel was severely restricted, inasmuch as the IAA required that a staffer accompany items of such value while they travel. They were to remain in Fox’s possession for a limited time until they could be returned, Haaretz reported.
After a long delay, the Authority learned several months ago that the items ended up at Mar-a-Lago.
The Antiquities Authority has sought intervention from senior figures close to Trump, including former US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and former Israeli Ambassador to Washington Ron Dermer to help secure the return of he lamps, but thus far, they have been unsuccessful.
It is unclear whether the former president knew the lamps were at Mar-a-Lago.