Penn Museum Makes a Golden Deal with Turkey

Penn Museum Makes a Golden Deal with Turkey

Philadelphia’s archaeology museum is to indefinitely loan a batch of ancient jewellery known as “Troy gold” to Turkey in order to gain artefacts for a future exhibit of King Midas-related pieces.

This arrangement comes as part of a landmark agreement between the Penn Museum and the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism, in a collaboration of both field work and further exhibitions over the nest few years.

“It will lead to great opportunities – for Penn, for Philadelphia and for the wider archaeological community – to experience more of Turkey’s rich cultural history and heritage in the future,” explained museum director Julian Siggers.

According to the Turkish culture and tourism minister, Ertugrul Gunay, over the past two decades, several thousand historical artefacts have been returned to the European country, and the 24 pieces of jewellery from Penn are no exception.

Acquired from a now-defunct art dealership in 1966, the objects, including earrings, pendants and pins are from the Bronze Age, although their origins are unclear.

Kept in storage for years, it was a grain of dirt discovered on one of the pieces of jewellery in 2009 which allowed scholars to identify the collection as probably from the ancient city of Troy.

Now on indefinite loan (as the provenance is not wholly certain) the collection of jewels will be displayed at an archaeological museum which is currently being built in Troy and is set to open in two years’ time.

The King Midas exhibition is hoped to open in 2016 at the Penn Museum and will play host to a range of treasures excavated from what is believed to be the tomb of King Midas’s father.


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