Famed Winged Sea Horse Brooch in Germany, to be returned, minister says

Winged Sea Horse Brooch (Photo: Cihan)

November 21, 2012, Wednesday/ 16:54:00

Culture and Tourism Minister Ertuğrul Günay has announced that the Winged Sea Horse Brooch, one of the most precious pieces in the Croesus Treasure, which was stolen from a museum in Turkey in 2005, has been found in Germany and will be returned to Turkey soon.

The brooch was discovered to have been stolen from the Uşak Archaeology Museum, where it had been on display, and switched with a fake some time between March and August 2005, and it remained missing until located in Germany. No information has yet been revealed as to how it was found. The brooch was declared the symbol of the city by the municipality of Uşak after it was stolen.

Speaking at the 31st İstanbul International Book Fair on Wednesday, Günay said he was going to give important news. “The treasure worth millions of [Turkish] lira, known as the Winged Sea Horse, the most precious piece in the Croesus Treasure, which was stolen from the Uşak Archeology Museum in 2005, has been found and secured in Germany. An agreement that the artifact belongs to Turkey has been reached between Turkish and German authorities. We are following the legal proceedings. I believe the Winged Sea Horse, which is vitally important to the Croesus Treasure, will be brought back to Turkey by the New Year or in early 2013.”

Günay also said that a new museum will be built in Uşak and the Winged Sea Horse Brooch will be on display in that planned museum. However, the brooch will be displayed in an Ankara museum until the museum in Uşak is built.

The Croesus Treasure, a collection of artifacts from the time of King Croesus' rule of the Lydian Kingdom between 560 and 547 B.C., is on display in the Uşak Archeology Museum. The treasure contains 363 valuable Lydian artifacts originating from Uşak province in western Turkey, which were the subject of a legal battle between Turkey and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York from 1987-1993. The artifacts were returned to Turkey in 1993 after the museum admitted it had known the objects were stolen when they had purchased them.

Minister Günay promotes translated Syrian, Kurdish books at book fair

During the book fair, Culture and Tourism Minister Günay has also promoted a Syriac and a Kurdish book, which were translated into Turkish and published by the ministry.

The books Günay promoted were a Syriac book of poems titled “Kutsal Ruh'un Kavalı” (The Lyre of the Holy Spirit) by Ephrem the Syrian, a Syriac deacon and a prolific Syriac-language hymnographer and theologian of the fourth century, and “Divan'ı Molla Cezirî” (Dîwanî Melay Cizîrî), a collection of poems by Malaye Jaziri, a Kurdish writer, poet and mystic who lived from 1570-1640. These books have been translated into Turkish for the first time. Günay said at the event that his ministry wants to keep the cultural richness of the Anatolian lands alive. “We believe that our national unity can only develop by acknowledging the pieces of our richness and revealing them with respect, not by destroying them.”

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