Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

Special Introductory Offer!

Turkey Wants Halicarnassus Statues Returned

Monday, December 10, 2012

BODRUM, TURKEY—Statue Maussollos BM Sc1000 n2(© Marie-Lan Nguyen / Wikimedia Commons)Turkish authorities reportedly plan to appeal to the European court of human rights for the return of statues from the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus. Located in Bodrum, in southwestern Turkey, the pyramid-shaped monument to Mausolus, king of Caria, was built in 350 B.C. and topped with a sculpture of a four-horse chariot and decorated with other elaborate marble figures. It is thought to have collapsed during an earthquake sometime in the medieval period. “These pieces were acquired during the course of two British initiatives, both with firmans–legal permits issued by the Ottoman authorities–that granted permission for the excavation of the site and removal of the material from the site…to the British Museum,” responded a spokeswoman from the British Museum.