Monday, 29 January 2018

Gold crown of Hecatomnus returned to Turkey

An ancient gold crown, which was allegedly stolen from the burial chamber of  Hecatomnus, the father of Mausolus, in the Aegean town of Milas and later smuggled to Scotland, has returned to Turkey. The tomb was robbed in 2008 and the crown was spotted in Edinburgh two years later:
It has been reported that Murat Aksakallı, 50, who manages a cafe in the Scottish capital of Edinburgh, and his business partners Ali Sanal and Hakkı Özbey, have spoken with the officials of Sotheby’s and Bonhams auction houses in Edinburgh in order to find a buyer for the crown. Scottish police contacted the three Turks in 2010, pretending to be a buyer and seized the crown. When questioned, Aksakallı defended himself. “I have inherited it from my grandfather, Fazıl Aksakallı, who died in Çemişgezek [a district in the eastern Tunceli province]. I had kept it for years and then forgot it. But I had decided to sell it when my carrier companies had financial trouble,” he said. The case later went to court. A Scotland court on Dec. 2, 2017 ordered the return of the crown to Turkey.
(Ömer Erbil, 'Gold crown of Hecatomnus returned to Turkey: Culture minister', Hurriyet Daily News January 28 2018 ) He claims to have 'kept it for years', but even then would hve required to sjhow an export licence for it when it was taken to England. His inability to provide one was the reason he lost possession of it. Collectors, keep all the paperwork! It is important in cases like this.

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