This ancient jar dating back over 2,600 years will finally be returned to Cyprus from the UK after it was looted during the Turkish invasion of the island and recently discovered for sale.
The clay jar dating back to between 750 – 600 BC was given to Andreas Kakouris, Cyprus High Commissioner in London on Friday in preparation for its repatriation.
Cyprus’ Antiquities Department said the jar had been looted and illegally taken from Cyprus following the Turkish invasion of 1974.
The jar was handed into the London Metropolitan Police by Costas Paraskevaides who owns a London antiquities shop called ArtAncient, after he came upon on it.
He told the Cyprus Mail that he had seen it offered on the UK market and saw it as a stolen object. He then worked with the Antiquities Department, the Cypriot High Commission and the Metropolitan Police to recover it and have it returned to Cyprus.
The Antiquities Department, which works in combating the market in stolen antiquities, said the artefact would be repatriated “in the near future”.
In a press release, the department said: “Every repatriation of a stolen and illegally exported cultural object is of utmost importance on many levels, since each and every such object represents a part of a country’s history and identity.
“For the Cyprus authorities, the identification and repatriation of stolen cultural objects is an extremely high priority, bearing in mind that the island has sadly suffered large-scale looting and illicit trafficking of cultural objects, especially as a result of the 1974 Turkish invasion and subsequent occupation.”
Cypriot Bichrome ware is a type of Late Bronze Age, and Iron Age pottery and the jar belongs to the Archaic Period (750–475 BC).
Turkish forces invaded and captured three percent of Cyprus in July 1974 following a coup d’etat in the island country. Another invasion in August led to the Turkish occupation of the north of the island.
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