Friday, February 13, 2009

Lydian Hoard Conviction

In July 2006 ten individuals, including the director of the Usak Museum Kazim Akbiyikoglu, were charged "with embezzlement and artifact smuggling in a case involving the theft of a piece of the famed Lydian Hoard at the Usak Museum" ("10 charged in missing brooch case", Turkish Daily News July 14, 2006). The tragedy of the case was that this formed part of the hoard that had been returned from New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art.

It has been reported today that the 10 have been jailed ("Turkey jails 10 for stealing ancient treasures", Hurriyet January 13, 2009).
A coin and a gold brooch in the shape of a winged sea horse were taken from a museum displaying possessions of the wealthy king of Lydia who ruled in the 6th century B.C. ...

A court in the western city of Usak says museum director Kazim Akbiyiklioglu was imprisoned on Friday for nearly 13 years for theft and embezzlement. Nine others received lesser prison terms.

The treasures were replaced by fakes in 2006 and the original pieces have not been recovered.

The pieces were among items smuggled out of Turkey in the 1960s and returned to the country only in 1993.

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