Why Kim Kardashian and Kanye West Are in Trouble With Italian Feds

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have reportedly found themselves involved with Italian authorities for a very unorthodox situation. According to TMZ, Kardashian's name was attached to a Roman artifact, an ancient item that the United States is attempting to return to Italy. The reality star was reportedly unaware that her name was attached to the artifact and that it was her now-estranged husband, West, who purchased it.

The Italian government is claiming that the artifact in question, which dates back to 1st or 2nd century Rome, was shipped to the United States back in 2016. The big problem in this situation revolves around the fact that Kardashian has denied that she ever made the purchase despite the fact that her name was attached to it. The paperwork for the statue notes that "Kim Kardashian dba Noel Roberts Trust" is the consignee and importer of the item. Although, a representative for the Keeping Up With the Kardashians star denies that she was the one who was involved in this purchase, even though that is the name of her trust.

The tricky part of this matter is that West was reportedly the one who actually purchased it. The deal was part of a purchase that the rapper made that included several more art pieces. While a source told TMZ that West purchased the statue, they did note that it was unclear whether he bought it as a present for his then-wife or whether he planned on telling Kardashian about it. Regardless, Italy is now asking for the artifact back as they have deemed it a cultural treasure.

This messy situation doesn't end there, as TMZ reported that there is a connection between Kardashian and Axel Vervoordt, a Belgium designer who was the one to ship the artifact to the United States. The publication presumes that it was Vervoordt's company that put Kardashian's name on the document for the Roman statue. It wouldn't be the first time that Kardashian or West worked with Vervoordt, as the designer worked with the couple in 2016 when they were in the process of building their Hidden Hills estate. Vervoordt did release a statement about this matter in which he claimed that he was not aware of the exact history behind the statue's origins. He also said that he obtained the piece from a French gallery in "good faith." His statement read, "At this point there is no evidence that this piece was illegally imported from Italy. If investigation proves that the piece was actually exported from Italy without a proper export license from the Italian Ministry of Culture, then we will of course take our responsibility."

When it was originally reported that Kardashian was connected to this case, her representative released a statement in which they noted that the star was not aware of the piece's "existence." Her rep stated, "We believe it may have been purchased using her name without authorization and because it was never received, she was unaware of the transaction. We encourage an investigation and hope that it gets returned to the rightful owners."