Smuggled antiquities to be returned to Turkey after New York ceremony
The artefacts will now be returned to Turkey.
They were handed over to Turkish Consul General in New York Reyhan Ozgur, by a representative from the US Department of Homeland Security and the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, at a ceremony at the Turkey Centre.
The ceremony for the return of 28 smuggled historical artifacts to Türkiye was held at the Turkish House. We convey our gratitude to @ManhattanDA, @HSINewYork, @TCKulturTurizm and @MFATurkiye.— TR Consulate NewYork (@TRConsulNY) January 21, 2022
The invaluable Antiquities will soon be in their homeland.
📸Tayfun Coskun, AA pic.twitter.com/K8796BFhww
The returned items represented a treasure trove of ancient artefacts, including 12 coins, a stag’s head rhyton drinking vessel, a 6,000-year-old Kilia idol, and a mother goddess idol from the Neolithic period.
The handover in New York follows anti-smuggling efforts by Turkey, which last month announced that it had recovered 3,480 cultural assets in 2021.
The return of smuggled artefacts to Turkey is sometimes complicated by the need to work with multiple foreign law enforcement and judicial authorities.
Smuggling antiquities out of Turkey has been illegal since the modern state's founding in 1923.
In August 2021, Turkish authorities arrested 78 suspected members of a smuggling operation and seized over 23,000 artefacts in raids.
The items recovered in New York will be displayed in Turkish museums following their return to the country.