Lawyers who represented Turkey in the Kilia idol case in the New York District Court will make a presentation on Sept. 25 about the return of the idol, which has been smuggled from Kulaksızlar in the western province of Manisa’s Akhisar district and found a buyer for $14.5 million in a recent auction, to Turkey.
It has been reported that the case has not been concluded yet and that the defendants will make their last defense on Oct. 10 following the representation of the Judge for the Southern District of New York Alison Julie Nathan.
It was announced on April 14 that the 5,000-year-old Anatolian marble female figure, known as the Guennol Stargazer as it looks to the sky, will be put up for sale by New York Christie’s at an auction. The idol had an estimated sale price of $3 million and was sold for $14.5 million.
Meanwhile, the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry had contacted Christie’s to request that the statuette be removed from the auction and returned to Turkey. The initiative was rebuffed, resulting in the ministry initiating legal action.
With the action by the Lawrence M. Kaye of Herrick Feinstein law firm, which successfully represented Turkey in the cases of Karun and Elmalı treasures, the buyer would have to wait for 60 days before receiving the idol, meaning Christie’s will not be able to receive payment and deliver the artifact for two months.
“The court did not make the ruling yet. As a response to the other side, we will make the presentation on Sept. 25, defending the right of Turkey. The other side will make its defense on Oct. 10. If necessary, there will be mutual discussion in court. The court will make the final decision after all these processes,” Kaye said over the phone.