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Cleveland Museum Faces Scrutiny Over Allegedly Looted Roman Statue

Looted Roman Statue

A headless bronze statue, thought to represent the Roman statesman Marcus Aurelius, has been seized from the Cleveland Museum of Art in Ohio, USA.

The seizure was executed earlier this month following a warrant issued by the Manhattan District Attorney's Office in New York, reported The New York Times.

According to the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, the confiscation is part of an "ongoing criminal investigation into a smuggling network involving antiquities looted from Turkey and trafficked through Manhattan." The statue is currently off display at the museum as investigations continue.



New York investigators have assessed the value of the 6-foot-4-inch-tall headless statue at $20 million and estimate it to be approximately 1,800 years old. Turkish authorities have communicated that the artifact was stolen from an archaeological site in Bubon, located in southwestern Turkey, during the 1960s.

However, the Cleveland Museum of Art has pushed back against these claims, stating that Turkey lacks solid evidence to prove the artifact was stolen. Zeynep Boz, the head of the Department for Combating Illicit Trafficking at the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry, said in a statement, "The enduring dispute surrounding this matter has kept Marcus Aurelius separated from his hometown for far too long."



The statue is set to be transported to New York in September for further investigation. (AA)


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