April 25, 2006

Adverse consequences of a restitution case?

Posted at 1:36 pm in Similar cases

The Kroiosos Treasury was returned to Turkey by the Metropolitan Museum in 1985. Due to the remote position of the Usak museum where it is held & lack of advertising of its presence, museum officials say that les than 800 people have visited it in the last five years.
Some articles have highlighted this as being a problem with restitution cases – that items are returned & as a result become less accessible to the public. However, this argument follows the same line as the British Museum’s reasoning that they should retain artefacts because more people can see them in London. At no time in the past though did people agree that the pieces would be shipped to wherever they would be most visible – it is a post rationalised justification which has no relevance to those for whom the artefacts have an actual cultural significance.

Zaman (Turkey)

04.25.2006 Tuesday – ISTANBUL 11:02
Kroisos Treasury Attracts Very Few Visitors
By Melik Evren, Usak
Published: Thursday, April 20, 2006

Currently on display at the Archeology Museum in Usak, the Kroisos (Karun) Treasury has attracted only 769 visitors in the past five years, museum officials said.

The lack of a suitable advertising budget has been blamed for the poor attendance, even though the Kroisos Treasury is considered to be unequaled in the world.

“In the past five years, hotels in the region have attracted 16,762 foreign visitors, of which only 769 visited the museum,” said Chief Officer of the Usak Culture and Tourism Department, Serif Ariturk.

The Kroisos Treasury, used in the 7th century B.C., comprises of hundreds of golden pieces, which belonged to the Lydian civilization.

The Kroisos Treasury came to light in the wake of three illicit excavations conducted in 1966, 1967 and 1968, in the village of Gure, 25 kilometers from central Usak, at that time, the items from the treasury collection exchanged with the Americans for money.

The Turkish government decided to take action to retrieve the 55 pieces belonging to the Kroisos Treasury that was on display at the US Metropolitan Museum in 1985.

The Metropolitan Museum was sued for its return, the Kroisos Treasuries were finally returned to Turkey in 1993 when museum officials realized that after six years of legal action they would not win the case.

The Kroisos Treasury has been on display at the Archeology Museum of Usak since 1996.

Numerous historical items on display at the museum are piled on top of the other because there is not enough display space available. The museum currently has 35,573 historic artifacts, of which, only 10 percent are on display. The museum exhibits 300 of 450 Kroisos Treasury pieces.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Possibly related articles

RSS feed for comments on this post · TrackBack URL

Leave a Comment

We want to hear your views. Be as critical or controversial as you like, but please don't get personal or offensive. Remember this is for feedback and constructive discussion!
Comments may be edited or removed if they do not meet these guidelines. Repeat offenders will be blocked from posting further comments. Any comment deemed libellous by Elginism's editors will be removed.
The commenting system uses some automatic spam detection and occasionally comments do not appear instantly - please do not repost comments if they do not show up straight away