This is just another reason in a long list of why it is so important to protect individual rights and property. If you think about it, the various governments are always claiming property found and even purchased by Citizens, as theirs; from Treasures found by private Citizens at the bottom of the oceans to artifacts taken during conquests. The Roman and British Empires were notorious for obtaining/stealing treasures and artifacts. You don’t think the Continental Army and militias took the quality belonging of the British as they were imprisoned and kicked out, or the Northern Army didn’t take the possessions of the southerners they conquered and burned out. Without the protection of individual rights, we are just allowing the continuous raping and pillaging by the most powerful governments. How many Middle- eastern refugees are being kicked off their property as we speak and what is happening to all their treasures?
In treasure hunting, if a government can prove ownership of a ship or fleet where the treasure is found, they get a lion’s share of the bounty even though they may have stolen that treasure from those they conquered and even killed like the Astecs, Incas, and Mayans.
Our founding fathers tried to institute the protection of right and property through (The Bill of Rights) but most of them have slowly been abrogated under the guise of the public good. Now we have the largest disparity in both wealth and income in our history and I can only imagine what is happening on the black markets for these artifacts. I’ve heard the black markets in Hong Kong are flourishing as the corruption money flows out of communist China. The only free market in China is the black market.