Politics, Culture

Turkish MPs to probe smuggled artefacts abroad

Head of parliamentary investigative committee Mustafa Isen says they will visit France and England next week

Turkish MPs to probe smuggled artefacts abroad

By Muhammet Emin Avundukluoglu


The parliamentary investigative committee on Turkey's cultural artefacts smuggled out of the country will visit England and France next week, according to the body’s head on Thursday.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Mustafa Isen reminded that the committee visited Germany and Denmark last week.

"There are no major museums in Germany and the U.S. where artefacts belonging to Turkey have not been exhibited," said Isen, who is also a lawmaker of the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party from northwestern Sakarya province.

Isen said that they have identified many Turkish artefacts in countries abroad.

"We will continue to explain that the artefacts should be evaluated in the country where they belong."

The committee had launched a probe into artefacts smuggled out of the country over the last 130 years.

There are several objects that were stolen from Turkey and some are now even being exhibited at European museums.

For example, the ancient Altar of Zeus and Pergamon city found near the western province of Izmir is now in Germany, exhibited at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin.

The Roman marble plate, which depicts 12 labors of Hercules, was confiscated at the Geneva port by Swiss authorities in 2010. It was illegally excavated in the 1960s from the southern Turkish city of Antalya.

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