12 smuggled historical artifacts to be brought to country

12 smuggled historical artifacts to be brought to country

12 smuggled historical artifacts to be brought to country

Twelve historical artifacts previously smuggled from Türkiye will be brought to the country as of March 22, Culture and Tourism Ministry Mehmet Nuri Ersoy has stated.

Reminding that his ministry has brought the fight against smuggling of historical artifacts to the level of independent departments within the body of the ministry, Ersoy underlined that they effectively implement bilateral protocols with countries that currently have smuggled artifacts from Türkiye.

“Thus, court process that would take eight to 10 years under normal circumstances can go down to seven or eight months. This discourages the receiver country,” Ersoy said in a televised interview.

“The buyer knows that the moment he puts it on display somewhere, the Turkish government will notice and follow up the situation, and then eventually ensure that the artifacts are returned,” he added.

Ersoy noted the ministry’s determination on this issue also reduces the marketing value of historical monuments and cultural assets of Anatolian origin so that smugglers’ dealings can be prevented.

They have managed to bring a significant number of cultural assets back to the country from abroad in the recent period, the minister pointed out.

Within a collaboration with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, 12 historical artifacts and cultural assets will be brought to the country as of March 22.

A bronze statue of a Roman Emperor and two heads stolen from Perge ancient city located in today’s southern province of Antalya are among the artifacts that will return to their home, Ersoy announced.

They will be exhibited at the Antalya Archaeology Museum as of March 31, the minister also noted.

Providing information of renovation works regarding historical structures in the earthquake zone, Ersoy stated that they will prepare a protection plan for the historical part of the southern province of Hatay’s Antakya district.

With this plan, the historical district will be revived in line with its unique characteristics, Ersoy noted, adding that they will also build a memory museum in the district as a tribute to those who lost their lives in the devastating Feb. 6 earthquakes.

Touching upon the renovation works at Maiden’s Tower, one of the iconic structures of Istanbul, Ersoy said that the works will be completed at the beginning of May.

Underlining that the restoration works carried out so far are quite insufficient, Ersoy said that the flagpole is made of sea sand.

“They made the flagpole from sea sand, and it was cracked all over. Columns and beams are not tied to each other. They [those who carried out restoration work previously] just plastered over rather than strengthening. We filled all the cracks, making the structure more resistant,” Ersoy explained.

They also established a website called kizkulesi.com and uploaded all the restoration works there, he added.