By Ahmet Salih Alacaci
Missing pieces of the famed “Gypsy girl mosaic” are to be displayed in a temporary public exhibit in its original home in Turkey’s southeast, officials said on Friday.
Arriving in their native Zeugma, Gaziantep last month, the pieces will be opened to temporary public viewing following an opening ceremony on Dec. 8 at the Zeugma Mosaic Museum, a ministry statement said.
Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy will be among the attendees of the ceremony.
Under a protocol signed in May by the ministry and Bowling Green State University in the U.S., 12 pieces of the Roman-era mosaic were sent back to Turkey from an airport in Chicago, Illinois.
After the exhibition, they will be restored to their original place among the larger mosaic, famed for the ancient girl's haunting eyes.
Preparations for their permanent home are ongoing, the statement said.
The pieces were discovered in the early 1960s during unauthorized excavations in the ancient Roman town of Zeugma, and the parts were smuggled abroad.
Years later, the pieces turned up on exhibit at Bowling Green State University, after the university bought the mosaics for $35,000.