Campaign for missing Zeugma mosaic pieces
Pieces of the Gypsy Girl mosaics were smuggled during illegal excavations at the ancient city of Zeugma. AA PhotoA campaign to retrieve missing pieces of the Gypsy Girl mosaic from the ancient city of Zeugma, currently on display at Ohio’s Bowling Green State University in the U.S., has been initiated by the website change.org. So far the website has collected over 8,000 signatures with the aim of receiving 10,000.
Pieces of the mosaics were smuggled in the 1960s during illegal excavations at the ancient city, which is located in the southeastern province of Gaziantep’s Nizip district, and bought by the university from a Manhattan art gallery in 1965 for $35,000.
Gaziantep Provincial Culture Director Ergun Özuslu said that preparations for return of 15 smuggled pieces had been continuing through a campaign by the website change.org. “A campaign has been initiated for the return of the mosaics to Turkey by the website change.org and 10,000 signatures are needed [to achieve our goal]. After the campaign reaches its goal, the Culture and Tourism Ministry will officially apply for the return of the mosaics back to Gaziantep,” Özuslu said.
Özuslu added that a report by Professor Kutalmış Görkay and Dr. Stephanie Hooper had confirmed that the pieces originated from the ancient site of Zeugma. The mosaics are currently now on display on the walls of the Eva Marie Saint Art Theater at the Wolfe Center for the Arts.