Two stolen artifacts returned to Turkey
Two stolen historical artifacts on sale in London have been returned to Turkey thanks to initiatives from the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry.
A manuscript book, which belongs to the Yusuf Ağa Manuscript Library in the central province of Konya, went on sale in an auction house in Britain.
According to information provided by state-run Anadolu Agency, the ministry informed the General Directorate of Cultural Heritage and Museums that the manuscript book was among the items up for sale in an auction on April 26, 2017 in London.
Investigations revealed that the book, which dates back to 1224, was stolen from the Yusuf Ağa Library in 2000. The ministry’s first step was to register the manuscript book with Interpol’s stolen artifacts database. When the sale of the book in the auction was prevented, the return process officially began.
The book, which was brought to Turkey in the end of 2017, is currently being kept at Ankara’s Ethnography Museum and will be sent to the Manuscript Institution of Turkey.
The second artifact returned to Turkey from Britain was an İznik tile. The return process began when the tile went on sale on Oct. 6, 2011. The owner, accepting its status as a “stolen artifact,” delivered the tile to the London Metropolitan Police for safekeeping. The tile was returned to Turkey on Sep. 20, 2017 and will be displayed at the Ethnography Museum.