Orpheus Mosaic returns to Turkey

18th Dec 2012

A ceramic mosaic depicting the mythic poet Orpheus has been returned to Turkey by a museum in the US.

Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister Ertugrul Gunay presented the item to the media in Istanbul after its arrival in Turkey from the Dallas Museum of Art.

The piece was returned by the Dallas museum after a memorandum was signed following the realisation that it was most likely looted from an archaeological site in Turkey.

It was confirmed by the Culture and Tourism Minister that the item will initially be displayed at the Istanbul Archaeological Museums before being taken to its rightful place at Sanliurfa Museum.

Holidaymakers looking forward to specialist tours of Turkey's cultural sites may be fascinated by the history of the Orpheus Mosaic, which dating back to around 194 AD is the earliest Edessa mosaic uncovered so far.

Smugglers took the mosaic out of Turkey after it was discovered by J.B. Segal in Sanliurfa in 1950.

The re-homing of the item comes after a campaign was launched earlier this year by Turkey's Aktuel Arkeoloji (Contemporary Archaeology) magazine to bring the artefact back to the country.

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