Saturday, July 23, 2011

"This is a revolution": Turkey and Cultural Property

Today's Times (London) had a report of Turkey's recently claims on cultural property (Alexander Christie-Miller, "Victory in campaign to seize back priceless artefacts lost to the world", The Times July 22, 2011 [pay to view]). The prompt relates to the return of the "Weary Herakles" from Boston.
"This is a revolution," said Mr Günay [Ertugrul Günay, the Turkish Culture Minister] after the agreement with the Boston museum. "This is a great development for the restitution of all our antique artefacts from abroad. We will fight in the same way for the restitution of the other artefacts." Turkey, which was the second fastest-growing economy in the G20 last year, is increasingly positioning itself as a major regional power.
But what  will be next?

The Times notes some other material in Berlin (since returned), London and Paris. I suspect that the dispersed series of bronze imperial statues from Bubon, as well as the magnificent Düver frieze will, perhaps, be in Turkey's sights.

The article also draws attention to some outstanding issues relating to cultural property including the St Louis Art Museum (SLAM) mummy mask.

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