Tough talk on cultural patrimony and other related issues from Turkey:
Turkey is not alone in demanding the return of artifacts removed from its borders; Egypt and Greece have made similar demands of museums, and Italy persuaded the Met to return an ancient bowl known as the Euphronios krater in 2006.But Turkey’s aggressive tactics, which come as the country has been asserting itself politically in the Middle East in the wake of the Arab Spring, have particularly alarmed museums. Officials here are refusing to lend treasures, delaying the licensing of archaeological excavations and publicly shaming museums.
“The Turks are engaging in polemics and nasty politics,” said Hermann Parzinger, president of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, which oversees the Pergamon. “They should be careful about making moral claims when their museums are full of looted treasures” acquired, he said, by the Ottomans in their centuries ruling parts of the Middle East and southeast Europe.