German official suggests return of Pergamon Altar to Türkiye

Berlin's official in charge of anti-discrimination efforts, Saraya Gomis, has suggested the return of the Pergamon Altar to Türkiye, which was smuggled to Prussia in the 1870s and is currently on display in Berlin.

Türkiye has been conducting an intensive diplomatic effort for the return of the altar, which belongs to the Anatolian territory, since the 1990s. The Culture and Tourism Ministry carried out comprehensive archive studies. However, despite Türkiye's insistent request for the return of the altar, Germany continues to remain silent and does not respond to requests.

On the other hand, after Germany returned the historical Benin bronze statues stolen from today's Nigeria during the colonial period, the return of the Pergamon Zeus Altar to Türkiye came to the agenda.

Gomis stated that the Pergamon Altar should be returned to the country to which it belongs.

"From an anti-discrimination point of view, all cultural products from other parts of the world do not belong to us, they are here illegally," Gomis said.

Germany claims the existence of an agreement signed between the Ottoman and German Empires in 1878 regarding the expulsion of the work from the country.

As per claims, the agreement was based on the Asarı Atika Regulation, which the Ottoman Empire adopted in 1874.

In the regulation, it is stated that one in three of the artifacts found after the excavation works were transferred to the country carrying out the excavation work, while one in three to the state and one in three to the land owner.

As a result of new research carried out by academics under the coordination of the ministry, German engineer Carl Humann, who was permitted to excavate at the Pergamon ruins in 1878, may have sent the Zeus...

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