Winged seahorse brooch attracts viewers

Winged seahorse brooch attracts viewers

ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
Winged seahorse brooch attracts viewers

Only within 2,5 months, the winged seahorse brooch from the Lydian Hoard, has attracted 50,000 viewers to Anadolu Civilisations Museum in Ankara. DHA photo

Seen as the most important artifact in the Karun treasures, a winged seahorse brooch from the Lydian Hoard that was brought to Turkey by Culture Minister Ömer Çelik on March 7 has attracted 50,000 viewers within just 2.5 months of being on display.

The brooch is currently at the Anatolian Civilizations Museum. Speaking to Anatolia news agency, museum director Zülküf Yılmaz said the brooch had attracted many audiences to the museum.

Tourist numbers from Israel, Russia and the Balkans have especially increased.

The brooch, which was stolen from a museum in the inner Aegean province of Uşak
in 2005, was returned to the facility for display.

The winged seahorse brooch is made of pure gold and is worth millions of Turkish Liras. The treasures of the Lydian  Hoard, also known as the Karun Treasure, are believed to date back to the sixth century B.C.

After it was found in the German city of Hagen, the piece was kept in a safety deposit box at the German Central Bank.

Turkish campaign and taking the brooch

The repatriation of the brooch was part of a wider Turkish campaign that has raised eyebrows in the foreign media, with some archaeologists in foreign countries accusing Turkey of being aggressive and engaging in blackmail to gain back past treasures.

Turkey has so far repatriated up to 3,700 stolen artifacts from foreign countries over the last seven years.

Bulgaria and Greece have followed Turkey’s policy and pursued their own stolen artifacts, stressing that these initiatives have significantly damaged the stolen artifact market. However, the market remains deep-rooted and requires considerable effort to combat given the desire of some collectors and wealthy individuals to open their own museums, according to officials.