Gypsy Girl replica ‘almost ready’ for US museum
GAZİANTEP - İhlas News Agency
The replicas of the 12 pieces of the Gypsy Girl mosaic, brought from the U.S. to the Zeugma Mosaic Museum in the southeastern province of Gaziantep 58 years after it was plundered, are being prepared at the Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality Mosaic Education Center.
The replica will be sent to the Bowling Green State University in Ohio, where the mosaics were on display after being stolen from Turkey.
The Gypsy Girl mosaic is a prominent symbol of Turkey’s millennia-old history, and works that have continued for seven months are almost finished on the replica of the mosaic.
The stones for the replica were gathered from the banks of the Euphrates River near the Belkıs neighborhood.
Mosaic artist Gülçin Sökücü, who is leading the staff at the Gaziantep Municipality Mosaic Education Center, said, “The mosaic was returned to our country under one condition: That its replica would be displayed. This duty was undertaken by the Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality, and we started making these replicas in January.”
Stating that they put in great efforts to make the replicas like their originals, Sökücü said, “We collected the most similar stones from the Euphrates River. We have 12 pieces of mosaics and they are in different sizes and different colors. We completed the replicas of 11 of these 12 pieces, which were the missing pieces of the Gypsy Girl Mosaic here.”
She said that the studies are at the last stage and that it would be impossible to differentiate the replicas from the originals.
“Together with a team of seven people, consisting of me and my assistants, we did this work. They will take their final form in the hand of the restoration team. The completed replicas will then be sent to Bowling Green State University in Ohio,” she said.
[HH] Mosaic sent back to Turkey
The old city of Zeugma, located on the banks of the Euphrates River, flourished under Greek and then Roman rule before it was destroyed in war in the 3rd century AD. The 15-square-meter Gypsy Girl mosaic is the most prominent symbol of that history.
Discovered in the early 1960s during unauthorized excavations in the ancient Roman town of Zeugma, pieces of the mosaic were smuggled abroad and ended up at Bowling Green State University, Ohio, bought for $35,000.
Under an agreement signed in May last year by the university and the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry, 12 pieces of the mosaic were sent back to Turkey.
The pieces are on exhibition at the Zeugma Mosaic Museum in Gaziantep.