Turkish organizations demand examination of artifacts in British Museum
Three prominent Turkish organizations have launched a petition demanding that artifacts of Turkish origin housed in the British Museum be meticulously examined for authenticity. The action is prompted by recent news of a significant theft within the prestigious institution.
The Friends of Asıklı Hoyuk Association, the Foundation for the Development of Cultural Awareness, and the History Foundation initiated the petition on Change.org to garner support for increased transparency and accountability in the protection of cultural and historical treasures.
The trio of organizations wrote an open letter to the British Museum's leadership, expressing their shock and concern at the theft and the apparent inadequacy of the subsequent investigation. "It is the right of the countries concerned to be informed of the list of stolen artifacts," the letter said, emphasizing the public's right to know if Turkish artifacts were among the stolen items.
The call for action follows the alarming revelation that the theft was only discovered when some stolen objects appeared for sale online. In light of these developments, the organizations call for a comprehensive review of all Turkish-origin artifacts in the museum's collection to verify their authenticity and ensure they are accounted for. They insist that the results be shared transparently with the authorized institutions of the countries involved.
It has come to light that of the more than 2,000 artifacts reported stolen from the museum, only 60 have been recovered. An additional 300 items have been located, leaving more than 1,600 artifacts unaccounted for.
The British Museum was plunged into controversy on August 16 after it was revealed that many artifacts stored in its warehouses had been stolen, lost, or damaged. Details of who was responsible or the exact number of missing items were not initially released. However, it was later revealed that approximately 2,000 artifacts were affected.
Peter Higgs, a curator at the museum for 30 years who specialized in Mediterranean cultures, Hellenistic sculpture, and artifacts, was fired in July and blamed for the incident. It was discovered that the thefts had been going on for several years, with some stolen items even appearing for sale on eBay.
As the scandal unfolds, calls for a thorough and transparent investigation of the artifacts intensify, and international eyes are now sharply focused on the British Museum's next course of action.