There is no way to prevent artifact smuggling without genuine cooperation between countries, Turkey’s Culture and Tourism Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said on Jan. 29.
“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,” Kurtulmuş said at a ceremony in the capital Ankara showcasing historical artifacts recently repatriated to Turkey.
The retrieved Golden Crown and Mountain Goat Figurine artifacts, both thousands of years old, are now on display at the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations.
Touting the two valuable additions to the museum, 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 eastern province of Erzurum, seems to date back to around 2,000 B.C., Kurtulmuş added.
He stressed the importance of protecting historical artifacts, boosting cooperation to preserve culture, and bringing artifacts trafficked internationally back to where they belong.
Kurtulmuş said there were 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 added.