A California man was sentenced to two years in federal prison after illegally importing a two-thousad-year-old floor mosaic of Hercules. The work of art is said to have been made by Syrian artists thousands of years ago and its current value is half a million dollars.
The California resident, Mohamad Yassin Alcharihi, was declared guilty by the US Attorney’s Office on June 21st. The 56-year-old man faced a single charge of fraudulent entry of misclassified goods. At this point, Reports state that Alcharihi had made a “false classification” regarding the antique mosaic’s “value and quality” when importing it into American territory. The antique piece arrived at the Long Beach port from Turkey in August 2015.
According to the authorities, the Californian individual only paid $12,000 for the mosaic, which is completely inaccurate and undervalued, as the piece has an estimated value of 450,000 dollars, in concordance with different statements from art experts. In addition, the man lied about his declaration, because the stated that he imported ceramic pieces from Turkey with a 600-dollar value. Now, the man’s sentence will come into effect in about six months from now.
In the art of the antique piece, Hercules can be seen saving Prometheus. In addition, it weighs 2,000 pounds, it is around 15 feet long and 8 feet tall. The mosaic has now been saved at a Los Angeles facility after being taken back from Alcharihi’s own garage seven years ago. Unfortunately, plans of returning the art piece to its origin country remain uncertain.