Hungary to return over 400 smuggled artifacts to Turkey
Following six years of meticulous researches conducted by experts at the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry, Hungary will return over 400 smuggled historical artifacts to Turkey next week, daily Hürriyet reported on Feb. 21.
“Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu will receive 412 artifacts from his Hungarian counterpart and bring them back to the country on Feb. 25,” the daily said.
According to the report, a Turkish man was nabbed with some 412 smuggled artifacts at the Hungarian border in 2015.
The Hungarian Interpol contacted Turkish security units over the incident, after which the Culture and Tourism Ministry’s department that deals with protection and anti-smuggling of artifacts got involved in the investigation.
The artifacts included a marble statue head, a marble figurine, medals, and coins, as well as other historical objects belonging to the Roman period.
The department sent some expert reports that clearly indicated that those artifacts were smuggled from Anatolia to Budapest and officially demanded the artifacts to be returned to Turkey.
“The process accelerated after the massive efforts by Viktor Matiz, the Hungarian ambassador to Ankara,” the daily reported.
“Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu will pay a visit to Budapest and will bring back the artifacts that he will receive from Péter Szijjárto, his Hungarian counterpart,” it added.
The artifacts will be displayed in the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in the capital Ankara.