Monday, November 26, 2012

Lydian Hoard brooch recovered in Germany

One of the most celebrated returns from New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art was the so-called Lydian Hoard. It was evidence of the widespread looting in Turkey. It was all the more tragic that a gold hippocamp brooch was stolen (in 2005) from the local museum where the hoard was displayed.

It was reported at the end of last week that the brooch had been recovered in Germany ("Karun piece found in Germany", Hurriyet Daily News November 22, 2012). A little more detail has been emerging (Constanze Letsch, "King Croesus's golden brooch to be returned to Turkey", Guardian November 25, 2012) although the precise facts have not been revealed.

The Lydian hoard reminds us that major museums were unwilling to ask searching questions about how material moved from the ground and onto the market. The story of this recovery is also likely to be revealing.

I am grateful to my colleague Ian Baxter for drawing my attention to the story. Further references are available from Paul Barford's post.

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