Antiquities, Art, Art Museums, Looted Art

Turkey Demands the Return of More “Looted” Artifacts from American Museums

After demanding that New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art return 18 objects of art including several highlights of the Met’s collection that are currently on display in the museum’s Ancient Near East Galleries, the Turkish government has now contacted the Getty, the Cleveland Museum of Art and Harvard University’s Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection to present evidence that objects in their collections may have been illegally excavated from the country’s archaeological sites, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday. It has threatened to halt all loans of art to those institutions until they respond to the claims.
A Hittite gold pendant of a goddess with a child, circa 1400 BCE from Central Anatolia. (MMA 1989.281.12)
Turkey claims all of them were illegally excavated and smuggled out of the country after the passage of a 1906 law that gave the state ownership of antiquities in the ground. It is the latest country after Italy and Greece to take an aggressive stance in reclaiming stolen antiquities.
The blog “Chasing Aphrodite” published a list of the Met’s objects subject of Turkey’s request in an entry of March 20, 2012.  All the contested objects are from the Norbert Schimmel Collection, which the museum has described as “the finest private assemblage of its kind in America” and “one of the most important gifts of ancient and Classical art ever presented to this museum.””Turkey is not trying to start a fight,” Murat Suslu, Turkey’s director general for cultural heritage and museums, said. “We are trying to develop … cooperation and we hope these museums will also understand our point of view.”
A silver Hittite rhyton, or drinking cup, in the form of a stag, circa 1400 BCE from Central Anatolia. (MMA 1989.281.10)
Vases of electrum, gilt silver and silver “said to be found together” in Northwest Anatolia by 1974. Made circa 2300 BCE.
(MMA 1989.281.45a,b-.48)

The Times, citing a list provided by Turkish officials, said the country is asking for 10 objects from the Getty that were acquired from dealers, auction houses or collectors for more than $1 million. They include four marble muses on display at the Getty Villa’s Basilica gallery.

Getty spokesman Ron Hartwig said the museum has had ongoing talks with Turkey, and declined to get into specifics.  Art Daily

Related articles



One thought on “Turkey Demands the Return of More “Looted” Artifacts from American Museums

  1. Turkey did not make those artifacts; the Greeks and other pre-Turkic peoples did. The Turks are invaders in Anatolia, and most people living there are descendants of those who originally lived in Asia Minor who mixed in with the Turks, who are natively from Central Asia, near Turkmenistan and other areas. Those are Greek and Roman works for the most part, works made by people who colonized the area, living in cities culturally distinct from the surrounding Asian countryside. The art was made by Europeans and European-descended populations, not the Central Asian Turks.

    Posted by Aristocles | October 1, 2012, 6:39 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


%d bloggers like this: