Turkey continues hunt for historic artifacts abroad
FISHERMAN. In recent years 30 historical artifacts, including the Winged Seahorse Brooch and grave stones, have been returned to Turkey thanks to the ministry’s efforts.Turkey’s Culture and Tourism Ministry has announced the list of historical artifacts held in foreign countries that it requested the return of last year, daily Hürriyet reported yesterday.
Among these artifacts include the Golden Wreath in Scotland, the marble head of Eros in London’s Victoria & Albert Museum, and Germany’s statue of the Old Fisherman, which was taken from Bergama Museum.
The ministry has accelerated its works to determine Turkey-rooted artifacts that are being kept in museums and collections abroad. As part of this push, the websites and catalogues of foreign museums and institutions dealing with the arts trade are taken into consideration, and the ministry has taken diplomatic and legal action for the return of the artifacts smuggled from Turkey.
In recent years 30 historical artifacts, including the Winged Seahorse Brooch and grave stones, have been returned to Turkey thanks to the ministry’s efforts.
The 2013 activity report from the ministry highlights the Turkish artifacts abroad that it is currently tracing.
In the report, the Culture and Tourism Ministry also covers its ongoing activities against the smuggling of artifacts from the country, including 59 artifacts that were stolen in 11 different events in Ankara, Balıkesir, Bursa, Denizli, Eskişehir and İzmir in 2013.
In coordination with governor’s offices, gendarmeries and security forces, measures have been taken relating to 680 illegal excavations and 553 attempts to smuggle cultural artifacts from Turkey, notified by the General Directorate of Cultural Objects and Museums.
The artifacts, whose return process continues through diplomatic relations and bilateral discussions, are listed in the report as follows:
Germany: Hacı İbrahim Veli sarcophagus, the statue of the Old Fisherman, a section from the Konya Beyhekim Mosque, the tile pediment of Piyale Paşa Mosque and a window sash of Beyhekim Mosque and a silver frescoed belt in the Pergamum Museum, which was seized through Dusseldorf Airport.
U.S.: Zeugma mosaics at the Bowling Green University Wolfe Arts Center, Kumluca artifacts at Dumbarton Oaks Museum, and pieces from the ancient sites of Bubon, Kremna and the Alahıdır Tumlus at the J. Paul Getty Museum.
Britain: The Head of Eros at the Victoria & Albert Museum.
France: The original İznik tiles from the tombs of Selim II and Murat III, and the Mahmud I Library at the Louvre Museum.
Denmark: Bronze sphinxes, the door handle of the Cizre Ulu Mosque, Quran pages of the Nuruosmaniye Mosque Library, the sarcophagus of the Akşehir Seyyid Mahmud Hayrani Tomb, the chandelier of the Hacı Bayram Veli Tomb and a carpet and mosque chandelier of the Beyşehir Eşrefoğlu Mosque.