ARCHAEOLOGY > Lawyer sends letter to Queen Elizabeth II for return of Halicarnassus Mausoleum pieces


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A Turkish lawyer, Remzi Kazmaz, demands the return of some pieces from Bodrum’s famous Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, which are on display at the British Museum. DHA photo

A Turkish lawyer, Remzi Kazmaz, demands the return of some pieces from Bodrum’s famous Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, which are on display at the British Museum. DHA photo

A Turkish lawyer and film producer, Remzi Kazmaz, has sent a letter to the Queen of England Elizabeth II, demanding the return of some pieces from Bodrum’s famous Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, which are on display at the British Museum.

Kazmaz sent the letter to the Queen via the British Ambassador to Ankara and is currently waiting for a positive or negative answer to be given within the next two months, which is the official responding time.

If the Queen doesn’t send a satisfactory answer, Kazmaz says, they would apply to the European Court of Human Rights as a group of thirty lawyers.

Two of the seven wonders of the ancient world were located in Anatolia; one of which was the temple of Artemis at Ephesus, and the other the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus in what is now Bodrum, in the Aegean province of Muğla.

Museum's response to Fisherman of Halicarnassus

Kazmaz says they would not accept a similar answer to that which was given to a Turkish writer, recalling a written exchange on the matter between the writer better known by his pen name The Fisherman of Halicarnassus, Cevat Şakir Kabaağaçlı, and the British Museum.

The writer had sent a letter saying that the mausoleum could only find its value under Bodrum's blue sky, Kazmaz said.

However the museum's response was to color in blue the hall in which the mausoleum was on display to make the writer's wish come true.

Some pieces of the Halicarnassus Mausoleum were sent to the British Museum during the Ottoman period.


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Notice on comments

David Morgan

5/31/2013 3:47:07 PM

And the "Alexander Sarcophagus" should be returned to Lebanon?

mara mcglothin

5/30/2013 5:34:35 PM

So what will Turkey do with these artifacts since they have built a disco over the ancient site???? Install them on the dance floor???

Brit in Turkey

5/28/2013 7:12:42 PM

I think that we should not forget that the archaeologists from Europe worked in tough conditions with very little fore-knowledge before they discovered these antiquities. This was so throughout the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern countries that they explored. If you consider the un-cared for mess that so many of the historic sites in Turkey were in (and still are in in many cases) perhaps Turkey should be grateful that these artefacts have been preserved by people who care.

mara mcglothin

5/28/2013 3:05:28 PM

AMERICAN You also forgot John The Baptist's gold encased skull and forearm as well.

american american

5/28/2013 2:07:59 PM

what of the artifacts in the topkapi museum (er)dogan? the jews want moses' staff back. can a greek lawyer write a letter requesting istanbul back? it was taken in the name of colonial imperialism as well (er)dogan.

Roger Williams

5/28/2013 10:28:12 AM

When researching my book (The Fisherman of Halicarnassus: the man who made Bodrum famous, just published), I contacted the archivist at the British Museum to see if they had any record of the letter from Çevat Şakir. After a search of the records, the Greek and Roman department said they had "no knowledge of the letter - or the incident". However, the room was painted blue at the time Hughette Eyüboğlu's visit, which she mentions in her autobiography, "Living Under the Shadow of Two Cultures".

Gorby Sin

5/28/2013 12:06:52 AM

I don't follow. What about some, just a bit more famous, antiquities located in the British museum. Greece was under Ottoman rule at the time. Lord Elgin, presumably did have written permission. However could these antiquities be considered stolen? After all they were not 'given' by their rightful owner. The neighbors in this case are right. Britain once great should return the Halicarnassus sculpture.

dogan kemal ileri

5/27/2013 10:43:21 PM

All the artifacts kept in Berlin, Paris or London to name some promionent capital museums have historical artifacts that were invariably stolen or removed before proper consent were approved and in no way belongs to them but is theft and colonialism and imperialism and should be handed back and placd on their original site.Thwew is no justification for keeping them.

Tekion Particle

5/27/2013 9:28:53 PM

Besides, the Queen has no power to return anything. Unfortunately, he has written to the wrong person. Try David Cameron

Brit in Turkey

5/27/2013 4:59:55 PM

If these things were given to the museum and not stolen by the museum then the museum has every right to keep them. The lawyer/ film producer should also bear in mind the free publicity Turkey gains through the displays in the museum.
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