Missing pieces of famous Gypsy girl mosaic coming to Turkey
Missing pieces of the famous “Gypsy girl mosaic” from the ancient Roman city of Zeugma are on their way back to Turkey later this month, following a decades-long stay in the United States, state-run Anadolu News Agency reported.
Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy told parliament’s Planning and Budget Committee on Monday that the pieces are scheduled to arrive in Turkey on Nov. 26, the agency said.
The famed mosaic of a young girl with piercing eyes was discovered in the early 1960s during excavations in the town of Zeugma, dating back to 300 BC, in the southeastern Gaziantep province and its pieces have been missing for at least 50 years.
A few years ago, Turkey attempted to retrieve the 12 missing fragments, purchased in 1965 by the Bowling Green State University in Ohio for $35,000, however the university requested $260,000, which Turkey’s Foreign Ministry rejected to pay on grounds it was ‘’unethical,’’ the agency recalled.
Last month the Turkish Consulate in Chicago approached the university after a change in administration and an protocols were signed for U.S. authorities for return of the mosaic.
The mosaic pieces will most likely join their counterparts in the Gaziantep Zeugma Mosaic Museum.
Over 4,300 smuggled antiques have been returned to Turkey, which is home to the ruins and artefacts from Hittites, Greeks, Phrygians, and Romans, since 2003, according to Turkey’s Culture Ministry.