Turkey’s Culture Ministry in pursuit of ‘stolen’ ancient Quran
The ministry has been trying to get back the Quran, which was sent to a museum in the western province of Bursa from Istanbul’s Topkapı Palace in 1964.
But the Quran was later stolen and added to a private collection.
The Quran, which had been received by an unidentified person from Topkapı Palace in 1964, was sent with the permission of the ministry to then new Islamic Arts Museum in the northwestern province of Bursa in 1964.
After 24 years, in 1988, officials at the Bursa museum realized that the Quran was not there.
It was later revealed that the Quran had been taken from the museum and added to the private collection.
The ministry had opened an investigation into the officials responsible for the disappearance.
After the investigation, it was decided that the responsible officials would pay a fine worth the value of the Quran to the museum. In 1991, when Topkapı Palace found out that the Quran was held by a calligraphy collector, named Ziya Aydın, it filed a lawsuit.
The ministry had wanted those responsible to pay the fine, but a court had rejected the request on status of limitations grounds in 1996.
The Culture Ministry has recently brought many smuggled artifacts back home. Now, it seeks the return of the priceless holy book.