Presto ritornerà nella sua sede naturale, ad Antalya, il sarcofago raffigurante Ercolemartedì 21 giugno 2017 Hurriyet Daily News Foto: Hurriyet Daily News
ISTANBUL - A Roman-era sarcophagus of Hercules is currently on display in Geneva, Switzerland, but will return to its home in the Mediterranean province of Antalya following a Swiss court ruling in 2015.
Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister Nabi Avcý, at an opening ceremony in Geneva, said the return of the Hercules sarcophagus is a new phase in Turkey’s long-time international struggle.
Avcý said cultural possessions of countries being returned to their country of origin has been encouraged recently. “Let’s put legal struggles, claims and counterclaims on one side. We should remember that seizing a cultural heritage of a country is basically equivalent to destroying the unity of world civilization,” he added.
He said the issue of cultural heritage smuggling has ways that can be solved in short, mid and long-term methods.
“Everybody and institutions related to this issue should be more sensitive. Turkey strongly supports the UNESCO 1970 Convention and the works that have been carried out within the scope of this convention. We are determined to consider all possible collaborations. Also, we will continue working for the return of all cultural heritages that have been taken out of the country illegally,” he added.
Avcý stressed that it is important to protect cultural heritages in conflict zones such as Syria and Iraq, adding that it was the ministry’s priority to prevent the smuggling of movable objects from archaeological settlements.
In his speech, he thanked customs and security authorities as well as lawyers, ministry officials and most importantly Professor Marc-Andre Renold, Turkey’s lawyer in the case of retrieving the Heracles sarcophagus.Meanwhile, Unesco Director Irina Bokova said Turkey is one of the biggest defenders of the UNESCO 1970 Convention