US returns ancient artefacts to Turkey


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Historical artifacts from Turkey that were seized last year at Newark Airport were formally returned to Turkey on Dec. 11, at a ceremony held at the Turkish Consulate General in New York. The artifacts include 65 pieces from the Hellenistic and other eras.

US returns ancient artefacts to Turkey

Special agent Andrew McLees said the seized artifacts had been sent to a fake name in the U.S. using fake documents, adding that investigations into the case had continued for more than a year.

“The artifacts were sent with a fake name and fake address. We had to follow a certain investigation process. We had to be sure about their real owner,” McLees said.

McLees said that after being seized at the border in February 2013, the artifacts were sent to a Wisconsin University professor who is an expert on Anatolian antiquities.

Among the returned artifacts are silver and bronze coins printed in Anatolian mints such as Miletos, Leukai and Phokai from the Hellenistic and Classical era, a bronze arrow head, and a bronze belt buckle.

The United States has returned 7,150 artifacts from 27 countries to their homeland since 2007, McLees also stated.

Source: Hurriyet Daily News [December 11, 2014]


  1. These stolen artefacts from the Hellenistic and Classical era, a bronze arrow head, and a bronze belt buckle should be retaining to Greece. Miletos, Leukai and Phokai, are Greek cities.
    The Turkish occupation of Ionia for more and that 700 years, and because today they do not accept the fact that Ionia is the land of Greek philosophy and Ionia was Greek, that ignorance and the twist the history that these were Greek cities describe then as occupants of Greek land and does not give them the right to demand these stolen artefacts.

    It is like returning byzantine icons to the Turkey’s occupation force authorities in Cyprus.

  2. As I have repeatedly pointed out in this forum, Turkey should be taken to Court by UNESCO. Turkey is in violation of basic principles regarding the suppression of the cultural heritage of peoples in the lands Turkey currently occupies.

    The US, by returning these Greek artifacts to Turkey, seems to encourage this pillage and rape of cultural heritage.



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