Turkey demands return of its 'Elgin marble'

06 Sep 2011 1:57 PM | Anonymous

Turkey demands return of its 'Elgin marble'
V&A holds carved head removed from sarcophagus by Britain's consul-general in 1882

By Rob Sharp, Arts Correspondent
Tuesday, 6 September 2011


Turkey is demanding the return of an ancient marble head, now languishing in the stores of a London museum, which was taken from Anatolia more than a century ago.


The Turkish culture ministry has asked the Victoria and Albert Museum to return a 1,700-year-old life-sized marble carving of a child's head, described as bearing a likeness to Eros, the Greek god of love.

Tolga Tuyluoglu, the director of Turkey's culture and tourism office in London, said: "The Turkish ministry of culture thinks this item belongs to Turkey. We believe if an item has been removed from a country then it should be returned to the original place."

In 1882, the archaeologist Sir Charles Wilson, then Britain's consul-general in Anatolia, removed the head from the Sidamara Sarcophagus, a huge tomb dating from the third century, which he had excavated. The sarcophagus, which now sits in Istanbul's Museum of Archaeology, is one of the finest and most widely known of its type and period.

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/history/turkey-demands-return-of-its-elgin-marble-2349791.html?service=Print

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