A historical artifact from A.D. 250 that was taken to London has been returned to Türkiye after 140 years, the Culture and Tourism Ministry said on Friday.
The “head of Eros,” a separated part of the Sidamara sarcophagus, has been returned to the country, the ministry said in a statement, adding that the Roman sarcophagus is open to visitors at the Istanbul Archaeological Museums.
The marble sarcophagus, which weighs more than 30 tons and is one of the largest of its kind to survive from the ancient world, was discovered 140 years ago in the ancient city of Sidamara, now the village of Ambar in the central province of Karaman, and the head of Eros became separated from the rest of the huge funerary monument at that time.
"As a result of the cooperation of the Culture and Tourism Ministry and the Victoria amp; Albert Museum, London (Vamp;A), the missing piece was brought back to Türkiye on June 10 and has now been reunited with the historical artifact it belongs to," the ministry said.
The missing part was shipped from London with the support of Türkiye's Foreign Ministry and flag carrier Turkish Airlines, and was reattached to the giant sarcophagus following needed conservation research was jointly conducted by experts from Istanbul Archaeological Museums and the Victoria amp; Albert Museum.
The Sidamara sarcophagus was first discovered in 1882 by British military consul general Charles Wilson in Anatolia, who took the detached head of Eros part and returned to London.
After 140 years, with the signing of the renewable cultural partnership between the Istanbul Archaeological Museums and the Vamp;A, it has been brought back to Türkiye and restored to its original location.