Turkey wages 'cultural war' in pursuit of its archaeological treasuresAnkara accused of blackmailing museums into returning artefacts while allowing excavation sites to be destroyed

22 Jan 2013 9:14 AM | Anonymous

Turkey wages 'cultural war' in pursuit of its archaeological treasures

Ankara accused of blackmailing museums into returning artefacts while allowing excavation sites to be destroyed

Sidamara sarcophagus from Konya
The Sidamara sarcophagus from Konya in the Archaeological Museum at the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul. A 5,000-year-old burial ground in Konya was recently covered in concrete and transformed into a recreational area. Photograph: Imagebroker/Alamy

Turkey has been accused of cultural chauvinism and attempting to blackmail some of the world's most important museums in the wake of its demands for the return of thousands of archaeological treasures.

According to cultural chiefs in Berlin, Paris and New York, Turkey has threatened to bar foreign archaeologists from excavation sites in the country by not renewing their digging permits if governments refuse to return artefacts that Ankara says were unlawfully removed from Turkish soil. It has also threatened to halt the lending of its treasures to foreign museums, they say.

http://www.culturalheritagelaw.org/culturalheritagenews?mode=PostNew

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