Sion Treasures to return home
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Sion Treasures accidentally found in the ancient city of Corydella and smuggled to the US. are returning to Turkey. The rest of the treasures are in Antalya Museum.
A large mosaic tabloid will return to Turkey within the month as well as a winged seahorse brooch by the end of 2013, according to Culture and Tourism Minister Ertuğrul Günay. Speaking at the Second International Resort Tourism Congress in Antalya, Günay said that the brooch was the most important of the artifacts that Turkey has recently gathered. “The brooch will come from Berlin and we are trying to complete this procedure. We are working in accordance with diplomatic and museum rules.”
Sion Treasures accidentally found in the ancient city of Corydella and smuggled to the U.S. are also returning to Turkey, according to the daily Radikal.
International smuggler Yorgo Zakos had sold 18 pieces for $1 million to Ambassador Robert Woods Bliss, who gave the treasures to Dumbarton Oaks Museum in 1967. Turkey had previously applied to the museum to obtain the artifacts but the museum rejected the requests. Later, a committee from Turkey met with those in the U.S. and the latest decision has resulted in the treasures’ return to Turkey. The remaining 37 pieces of the 6th century treasures have been housed at the Antalya Archeology Museum.
The government of Turkey has recently contacted several American museums to ask for the return of artifacts that it believes were looted, including the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Cleveland Museum of Art and Harvard University’s Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection. The Turkish government claims there is evidence that objects in collections may have been illegally excavated from archaeological sites, Los Angeles Times reported Dec 1. It has threatened to halt all art loans to those institutions until they respond to claims.