ISTANBUL - Doğan News Agency
The stolen winged seahorse has been found in Germany, Culture Minister Ertuğrul Günay says. AA photo
A winged seahorse brooch from the Lydian Hoard has been found in Germany, Culture and Tourism Minister Ertuğrul Günay said at Istanbul’s TÜYAP Book Fair yesterday.
The brooch, the most important piece of the famous Karun Treasure, had been stolen from a display at the Uşak Archaeology Museum in 2005.
“A very important theft happened in 2005 in the Uşak Archaeology Museum. The director of the museum, who led the way in this theft and replaced the brooch with a fake one, was punished with over 10 years. The golden winged seahorse, worth millions of dollars, has been found in Germany. Negotiations were held between Turkish and German
officials. Now we are following the official process. I estimate that Turkish museums will reunite with the seahorse within a very short time,” Günay said.
After the theft, the Uşak Prosecutor’s Office charged 10 people, including the Uşak Museum director, Kazım Akbıyıklıoğlu, with embezzlement and artifact smuggling. According to reports, Akbıyıklıoğlu had 259 telephone conversations with the suspects taken into custody for the theft. The indictment said he had reached an agreement with the other suspects to sell the brooch. The fake version was cast at an unknown location, and the director replaced the original with it.