Turkey to retrieve Roman mosaics from US in a month

By Kerem Kocalar

GAZIANTEP, Turkey (AA) – Missing pieces from the Gypsy Girl mosaic located in the southeastern Gaziantep province are expected to arrive in Turkey within a month.

Over four months of efforts between the Culture and Tourism Ministry of Turkey and the Bowling Green State University in the U.S., have started to bear fruit, said Fatma Sahin, mayor of Gaziantep on Tuesday.

The 12 Roman-era mosaics, which depict extinct birds and mythological characters, are currently held by Bowling Green State University in Ohio.

She said the artifacts are expected to arrive in Gaziantep late October or early November.

Imitations of the mosaics will replace the originals at the university, Sahin said.

“We came to an agreement as of yesterday,” she said, adding that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had been supportive till the end.

Stating that contacts with the university had begun two-and-a-half years ago, she added that the situation changed when there was a switch in management in last year.

Sahin indicated that the imitations of the mosaics would be fabricated in Turkey.

The mosaics were discovered in the early 1960s during an excavations in the ancient Roman town of Zeugma in Turkey’s southeastern Gaziantep province.

Once returned, mosaics are likely to be displayed at Zeugma Mosaic Museum near Gaziantep.