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Talking Turkey, II – Taking on Cleveland

April 2, 2012

The Emperor as Philosopher, probably Marcus Aurelius (reigned AD 161-180)(CMA 1986.5).

The Chasing Aphrodite blog has just released images of twenty-one works Turkey claims were illicitly excavated and are now owned by the Cleveland Museum of Art:

The most prominent piece is likely this bronze Roman statue believed to represent Marcus Aurelius, which Cleveland acquired in 1986. On its website, the museum describes its origin as “Turkey, Bubon(?) (in Lycia.)” It is unclear how the bronze got from Bubon to Cleveland, and whether the object was granted an export permit, as required since the passage of Turkey’s 1906 cultural patrimony law. The Cleveland Museum of Art declined to answer questions about Turkey’s claim.

Turkey earlier hit the Metropolitan Museum of Art with a list of works it wants returned, has successfully secured the return of the “Weary Herakles” from the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and has been trying since 1968 to retrieve the so-called Sion Treasure from Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, DC.

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