Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Turkey repeats call for return of artifacts

Culture Minister Ertuğrul Günay has reiterated Turkey's desire to repatriate cultural artifacts taken from the country, noting that it could consider measures against foreign institutions that are unwilling to send back archaeological pieces.

The Turkish government has threatened to halt all loans of art to the J. Paul Getty Museum in California, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Cleveland Museum of Art and Harvard University's Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection until they respond to Ankara's allegations that some of their collection was illegally looted from Turkish archaeological sites, the Los Angeles Times reported July 21.

The Culture Ministry recently managed to repatriate "Weary Herakles" from the United States and the Hattuşa Sphinx from Germany following long-running negotiations.
Defending the ministry's call for the repatriation of artifacts, Günay said: "They call me a nationalist and a chauvinist. It is not true, I have never had such tendencies. I am a man of universalism, but the artifacts from our lands belong to us. So, it is not a nationalist approach but a universal one. Our struggle created an impression in the world. In the countries I visit, culture ministers support us, and they are ready for cooperation."

Via http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-repeats-call-for-return-of-artifacts.aspx?PageID=238&NID=26152&NewsCatID=375