To the international court, we request that the famed “treasure of Priam” currently held in the Pushkin Museum of Moscow, Russia be returned to its rightful owners, Turkey.
The treasure was excavated by Heinrich Schliemann on the 31st of May 1883 at Hissarlik in North West Turkey. This site is also known as the site of ancient Troy. Schliemann did not originally have a permit at the time to excavate and subsequent agreements that followed between Schliemann and the Turkish government were based upon the principal of equal sharing of any items considered of a historical value. Schliemann’s duplicitous actions saw him smuggle these treasures out of the country without the permission of the Turkish government. We in the Turkish ministry of culture seek what is basic the original return of stolen property.
While we concede that the Turkish government has made a previous attempt to seek a return of these treasures, it must be noted that the context of this court case could be considered to have played a major role in the outcome of this case. The court case was held in Greece in 1874, the relationship between Greece and Turkey throughout history has often not been positive, as was the case during this time period of this court hearing. The Turkish government was forced to settle this court case for theft of property, and what it received was minor. In a modern context, surely this international court can see that justice can be recognized.
The fact that the treasure was eventually donated to the Berlin Museum of early history and pre-history further ads validation to our claim. Schliemann had tried to sell these treasures to many museums throughout the world and all rejected it due to doubts of his right to sell it. Many museums perceived the risk involved in purchasing these treasures as the Turkish government may successfully win a court case to have them returned. In simple terms the museums thought “why would we have to...