Thanks to the cooperation between the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and US Manhattan District Attorney's Office and the Homeland Security Intelligence Unit, very special artifacts were returned to Turkey. Among them are a jug smuggled from the ancient city of Hydai and a vessel from the Eastern Anatolia region.
Thanks to the cooperation between the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the US Manhattan District Attorney's Office and the Homeland Security Intelligence Unit, especially in the last three years, very special works of art have been returned to Turkey. The Ministry also provides scientific data for investigations carried out in the field of historical artifact smuggling in the USA. Thanks to this cooperation in 2022 and 2023, a total of 44 works in 3 groups were returned to our country.
The 12 most recently returned works were brought to our country as a result of a joint work. Nine of the 12 artifacts returned are artifacts confiscated as part of the investigation on the Shelby White collection. The other three artifacts were confiscated as part of two other ongoing investigations into the Ancient City of Perge and the Ancient City of Boubon. Among the works brought back to Turkey in this new group are two very valuable ceramic works.
One of them is the jug that was found to be obtained through illegal excavations from Muğla Milas Hydai Ancient City. The Carian jug, belonging to the Orientalizing (Oriental inspired) ceramic group, is dated between BC 580-560. In the 1970s, most of the artifacts unearthed as a result of illegal excavations in the Hydai Ancient City Necropolis in Damlıboğaz Village of Milas were smuggled abroad.
The terracotta pottery, another artifact returned to Turkey, belongs to the Eastern Anatolia region, an example of a painted pottery group dating back to the 2nd millennium BC. These vessels, which contain various forms, sizes and decorations, mostly found in cemetery areas, were shaped on a potter's wheel. Similar works of art can be found in the collections of the Eastern Anatolia region and the Anatolian Civilizations Museum in Ankara.