Karun Treasures in new museum in western Turkey

Karun Treasures in new museum in western Turkey

Karun Treasures in new museum in western Turkey

Work has been completed in a museum project initiated in the western province of Uşak aiming to display the world famous Karun Treasures in a modern environment. 

Belongings of the King of Lydia Croesus, who lived between 560 BC and 546 BC - including the winged seahorse brooch, which was previously stolen twice and was missing abroad - will be displayed at the Uşak Museum starting this month.

The Karun Treasures are the name given to a collection of 363 valuable Lydian artifacts dating back to the 7th century BC. 

Seen as the most important artifact in the Karun Treasures, the winged seahorse brooch was brought back to Turkey in March 2013 after being stolen from the previous museum in Uşak in 2005. The brooch is made of pure gold and is worth millions of Turkish Liras. 

Speaking to state-run Anadolu Agency, Uşak Governor Salim Demir said the construction of the Uşak Archaeology Museum was completed and the final arrangements are being made to open the museum to visitors later this month. 

Stating that the modern museum, home to nearly 2,500 historical artifacts from various periods, cost 16 million liras, Demir said the two-story museum covered an area of 14,500 square meters and a special venue was made for the winged seahorse brooch. 

The latest technology is used to provide the security of the museum, he added, stating that “the Karun Treasures will get what they deserve in the new exhibition field.” 

“Along with the display rooms, the museum has a conference room and play rooms for children. We have some 43,000 artifacts in the museum inventory. It is not possible to display all of them but we will display the most important 2,500 artifacts, which will be changed from time to time,” Demir said. 

Contribution to the city’s economy

Uşak Archaeology Museum Director Şerif Söyler said the modern museum would attract many visitors and make a great contribution to the city’s economy. 

He said the old museum covered an area of 900 square meters, including its garden, but the new one had a closed area of 14,500 square meters. 

“The museum was constructed with the latest technology. On the first floor we have artifacts from the Paleolithic Age to the Republic era in chronological order. Along with the artifacts removed from the ancient cities of Acmonia and Sebaste, we revive the Ottoman Bank and Mint in the coins section. On the second floor, we show the Lydian civilization and the Karun Treasures. Six short films featuring the city’s history are also screened in the museum,” said Söyler. 

The Karun Treasures were found by treasure hunters in the Toptepe, İkiztepe and Aktepe tumuli near the village of Güre in Uşak in 1965, 1966 and 1968 and smuggled abroad. 

The 432-piece treasures began to be displayed at the New York Metropolitan Museum in 1985 and the collection was returned to Turkey in 1993 after a long legal struggle.