Three prominent organizations, including the Friends of Asikli Hoyuk Association, the Foundation for the Development of Cultural Awareness, and the History Foundation, have initiated a petition campaign on the platform "www.change.org" to address the issue of artefacts of Turkish origin that have been stolen from the British Museum.
The campaign, aimed at safeguarding cultural and historical heritage while fostering public awareness of this matter, involves sending an open letter to the museum's management. In this letter, the three collaborating organizations express their dismay regarding the theft and the shortcomings in the investigation process. They stress the right of concerned nations to access a list of the stolen artifacts and emphasize the legitimate demand of their citizens to determine whether any Turkish artifacts are among the stolen items. As a result, they call for the release of the list of stolen artifacts or, at the very least, its sharing with the relevant authorized institutions.
The letter further highlights that the theft came to light when some of the stolen objects were detected for sale online. It criticizes the lack of an effective investigation and demands a thorough review and authentication assessment of Turkish-origin artifacts within the museum's inventory, with the results to be shared with relevant authorities.
Notably, out of the more than 2,000 artifacts stolen from the museum, only 60 have been returned so far. While 300 of the artifacts have been traced, over 1,600 artifacts remain missing.
On August 16, the British Museum made headlines as it was revealed that numerous artifacts stored in its facilities had been stolen, lost, or damaged. While the identities of those responsible and the precise number of missing artifacts were not disclosed initially, it soon became apparent that around 2,000 artifacts were affected.
Peter Higgs, a curator with 30 years of experience at the museum specializing in Mediterranean cultures, Hellenistic sculptures, and artifacts, was dismissed from his position in July for his alleged role in the incident. It was also discovered that some thefts had been ongoing for several years.
Source: Anadolu Agency