Thursday, October 29, 2009

Emali Treasure Finally on Display at Home

The famous Emali Hoard has been put on display at the Antalya Archaeology Museum. See

The Emali Hoard includes 1,348 pieces minted in Anatolia, 287 from Central and Northern Greece and 44 from the Aegian islands. The hoard is notable because it also includes 14 rare Athenian Decadrachms. Before the hoard came to light, only 13 of these coins were known.

The hoard was previously displayed at the Museum of Anatlolian Civilizations in Ankara. Displaying the coins in a museum in Turkey's capital did not sit well with local officials in Antayla, where Emali is located. As the article states,

"During the opening ceremony, the Justice and Development Party, or AKP’s, Antalya deputy Sadık Badak was presented with a plaque for his contributions to bringing the coins to the Antalya museum. Badak said the historic artifacts should be displayed in the museums of the districts or cities where they were found, “'but bureaucracy resisted bringing the coins to Antalya for 10 years.'”

Most of the coins were repatriated after the settlement of a court case. Turkey says it spent some 2 million Turkish lira on lawyers to help recover the coins. (This is approximately $1.3 million at current exchange rates).

The high costs of hiring lawyers helps explain why source countries now generally look to the the U.S. Justice Department to pursue such matters in court. That in turn forces the U.S. taxpayer to in effect subsidize the enforcement of unfair, foreign laws, like those of Turkey, here.

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