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‘Sarcophagus of Heracles’ returned to Turkey after 50 years

The Sarcophagus of Heracles, which was smuggled out of Turkey after being found during an illegal excavation in the Aksu district of Antalya in the 1960s, has been returned to Turkey, the Karar daily reported on Thursday.

‘Sarcophagus of Heracles’ returned to Turkey after 50 years
AA Photo
The sculpture, which was seized by Swiss authorities during an inventory check at the Port of Geneva in 2010, has been returned to Turkey’s culture and tourism ministry officials in Geneva.

The sarcophagus was taken to Zurich on Wednesday morning after packing and sealing was completed in Geneva Consulate and was brought to Atatürk Airport in İstanbul on Wednesday evening.

The sculpture will be transferred to Antalya to be exhibited at the Antalya Museum.

The Sarcophagus of Heracles, which is believed to have originated in the ancient city of Perge near Antalya in the second century BC, is a Roman marble sarcophagus depicting the Twelve Labors of Hercules.

It was seized at the Geneva Freeport warehouse following an inventory check. The Geneva Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, which investigated the case, ordered the return of the Heracles sculpture to Turkey in 2015.

The decision was challenged by the Swiss Federal Court, but the appeal was withdrawn and a final decision was made in May 2016 for the return of the sarcophagus to Turkey.

Source: Turkish Minute [Sepember 14, 2017]

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