Turkey celebrates return of millenniums-old 'Golden Crown' and 'Mountain Goat' artifacts
Turkey's Ministry of Culture and Tourism on Monday celebrated the return of the ancient Golden Crown and Mountain Goat Figurine artifacts to their homeland at a ceremony in the capital Ankara showcasing the pieces.
The retrieved artifacts, both thousands of years old, are now on display at the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations.
Touting the two valuable additions to the museum, Culture and Tourism Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said the Golden Crown came from southwestern Anatolia's Karya region.
"This work appears to be a commemorative piece taken from a gravesite of someone very rich in the Karya region. A very rare work. A work unique on a world scale," he said.
The Mountain Goat Figurine, taken from the Erzurum province, seems to date back to around 2,000 B.C., Kurtulmuş added.
Kurtulmuş also said there is no way to prevent artifact smuggling without genuine cooperation between countries..
"It is impossible to completely prevent historical artifact smuggling without the sincere cooperation of countries, just as it's not possible to prevent the global dimension of terror without sincere cooperation in fighting terrorism," he said at the ceremony.
The minister stressed the importance of protecting historical artifacts, boosting cooperation to preserve culture, and bringing artifacts trafficked internationally back to where they belong.
He added that there are many works taken from Turkey that are still on display in museums in Britain, Germany, and the U.S., and that Turkey is striving to repatriate them.
Turkey is waiting to bring back 55 more historical artifacts home, he said.
One such artifact is the ancient Altar of Zeus, found in Turkey's western İzmir province and now on display at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, Germany.
Another smuggling case which has drawn international attention is the stolen pieces of Gaziantep's famous Zeugma mosaic, purchased by U.S. Bowling Green State University in 1965, where they are still on display. Turkey has made several attempts to reclaim the artifacts from the American university.