2500 year old broch finally back home
A golden brooch featuring a winged seahorse is finally to be returned to Turkey; from where it was looted in 1965; along with other priceless items from the Lydean Hoard. The 2;500 year old piece is part of a treasure trove of goods belonging to King Croesus and; following its illegal removal and colourful history; the trinket is at last to be restored to Turkey and placed safely in a new national museum.
The marine-themed brooch may have been just one of many possessions of King Croesus; but to the Turkish government its value has been far higher. After it was taken from the country during the 1960s it was sold on and eventually ended up in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Turkish government embarked on a legal battle estimated to have cost £25 million; before finally receiving the brooch in 1993. It sat in Usak Museum for over 10 years when; in 2006; it was discovered that the priceless adornment was in fact a fake. Following his arrest along with 10 other men; the museum’s director admitted to having sold the treasure in order to pay off a gambling debt.
Although precise details of its latest ‘rediscovery’ remain unclear; it is known that the brooch was recovered in Germany at the end of November; and is soon to be welcomed back to its rightful homeland. The current location of the hoard; the Usak Museum; does not have the capacity to showcase all the items in its collection. As such; it is hoped that by early next year the entire Lydean cache; as well as an extensive range of other historic items; will be available for the public to visit in a yet-to-be built museum.
Turkey has recently launched what some call “an art war” to repatriate antiquities from museums around the world that it says were stolen and smuggled out of the country illegally. According to official numbers; 885 artefacts were returned in 2011 alone.