Smuggled historical artifacts in the US returned to Turkish authorities

WASHINGTON (CIHAN)- Some illegally traded historical artifacts from the Kingdom of Lydia were returned to Turkish authorities in Washington after being seized by Interpol and FBI.

On Tuesday, the artifacts were given to the officials with a ceremony held at Washington Embassy. Turkish Ambassador to Washington Serdar KIlI received the artifacts on behalf of Culture and Tourism Minister mer elik. KIlI said the artifacts will be displayed at Ankara Anatolian Civilizations Museum and will be sent to Manisa, where the Kingdom of Lydia settled, for display.

John Boles, the FBI Assistant Director of International Operations Division, told reporters that they launched the operation when Turkish officials informed them about putting the artifacts on the market via Internet.

Every year, numerous valuable historic artifacts are smuggled out of Turkey and become part of various collections around the world. The Culture and Tourism Ministry’s General Directorate on Cultural Assets and Museums notes that there is a large number of historic items and artifacts smuggled from Turkey to other countries, including the US, Germany, Russia, Croatia, Denmark, Italy, France, Switzerland, Serbia, Montenegro, Ukraine and England.