US returns Turkish artifacts
NEW YORK – Anadolu Agency
AA PhotoHistorical artifacts from Turkey that were seized last year at Newark Airport were formally returned to Turkey on Dec. 11, at a ceremony held at the Turkish Consulate General in New York.
The artifacts include 65 pieces from the Hellenistic and other eras.
Special agent Andrew McLees said the seized artifacts had been sent to a fake name in the U.S. using fake documents, adding that investigations into the case had continued for more than a year.
“The artifacts were sent with a fake name and fake address. We had to follow a certain investigation process. We had to be sure about their real owner,” McLees said.
McLees said that after being seized at the border in February 2013, the artifacts were sent to a Wisconsin University professor who is an expert on Anatolian antiquities.
Among the returned artifacts are silver and bronze coins printed in Anatolian mints such as Miletos, Leukai and Phokai from the Hellenistic and Classical era, a bronze arrow head, and a bronze belt buckle.
The United States has returned 7,150 artifacts from 27 countries to their homeland since 2007, McLees also stated.