Turkish works of art seized in US to be returned to Turkey

The authorities had been searching for the stolen Turkish pieces for two years, before finally locating them in the United States. The objects will be returned to Turkey later this month.

WORLD JANUARY 5. 2022 11:45

The Anti-Smuggling Unit of the Turkish General Directorate for Cultural Heritage and Museums in cooperation and the Manhattan Prosecutor’s office conducted a house search in US billionaire Michael Steinhardt’s house last month, and seized 180 works of art stolen from 11 countries, the TRT news portal writes. The total value of the pieces is 70 million dollars.

The collection included 14 objects from Anatolia, including gold dress ornaments, a goddess figure and animal statues.

Anti-Smuggling Unit director Zeynep Boz said that they have been searching for two years for the artefacts that will be handed over to the Consulate General of the Republic of Turkey in New York in the first half of this month, from where they will be taken to Turkey.

She added that Steinhardt wanted to auction the “Star Hunter” statue, an artefact from Manisa, at Christie’s in 2017, and as soon as they were notified immediately initiated the confiscation of the artefacts. However, neither Steinhardt nor the auction house wanted to release the artefacts, so they took legal action. However, the court ruled in Steinhardt’s favour.

“We have appealed the US court’s decision awarding the artefacts to Steinhardt and we hope that justice will be served for Turkey and that we can celebrate the return of this artefact together,” she said.



art treasures, turkey, usa