Uşak’s Karun Treasure opens to world with a joint project

Uşak’s Karun Treasure opens to world with a joint project

UŞAK - Doğan News Agency
Lydian artifacts, also known as the Karun Treasure, currently on display at the Uşak Archaeology Museum in the western province of Uşak will be open for the world to see in a new project titled “The Path of Karun, Peace and Cooperation Way.”

Within the scope of the project, carried out in collaboration with Italian Prato Textile Museum and Greek Tragilos Museum, photographs of the most important 50 pieces from the treasure will be displayed in international museums.

For the Uşak Archaeology Museum, which displays only 2,000 pieces of the 41,600-piece collection, the goal of the project is to bring global awareness to the Karun Treasure. The museum has already received funding for the project, according to museum Director Sabiha Pazarcı.

She said the project, in partnership with the EU Turkey Business Development Center (ABIGEM), received 116,874 euros from the EU. She said the process for the project would take one year.

“Italy’s Prato Textile Museum and Greece’s Tragilos Museum are among our project partners. Our goal is to improve the museum’s functionality by increasing its cooperative capacity and also to provide international dialogue and long-term cooperation,” Pazarcı said.

Making Karun Treasure using silly putty
“The Path of Karun, Peace and Cooperation Way” will be promoted with the participation of national and international specialists along with students and the general public, Pazarcı said. She said “45 by 55 cm photos of the most important 50 pieces of the Karun Treasure will be exhibited at Prato Museum in August 2012 and Tragilos Museum in November 2012 for five days each. Also, as part of the project, Turkish and foreign students visiting our museum will make models of the Karun Treasure using silly putty. By doing this, the model of a piece of treasure will enter a home in the world. The understanding of modern museum management will be improved thanks to the project.”

The Karun Treasure created by lydians

The Karun Treasure, which dates back to the period of the Lydian King Croesus between 560 and 546 BC, was unearthed from the tumulus, or burial mounds, near the Güre district on the İzmir highway in 1960. It is also widely known as the Lydian Treasure.

The treasure, one of the most significant works in the Lydian period, was smuggled from Uşak within three years between 1965 and 1968. The first smuggling took place in Toptepe Tumulus in 1965. A group of five people dug a tunnel and reached the burial chamber. They sold the artifacts for 65,000 Turkish Liras.

Later, in 1966, the İkiztepe tumulus was looted by 11 people and 150 pieces in the burial chamber were sold for 150,000 liras. A third robbery took place in 1968 in the Aktepe tumulus. The paintings and other artifacts were sold for 40,000 liras.

The entire treasure was discovered in 1985 at the New York Metropolitan Museum by journalist Özgen Acar. The Culture Ministry filed a lawsuit in 1987 to get back the treasure, which was kept in the depot of the museum. As a result of the legal process, which cost $40 million, the treasure was returned to Turkey in 1993.