Smuggled Ancient Mosaic Pieces of ‘Gypsy Girl’ Return to Turkey

Public Exhibit of Gypsy Girl Mosaic in Gaziantep
GAZIANTEP, TURKEY - DECEMBER 08 : Missing pieces of the famed Gypsy girl mosaic are on display during its temporary public exhibit in its original home at Zeugma Mosaic Museum in Turkeys southeastern Gaziantep province on December 08, 2018. Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy also attended of the ceremony. The pieces were discovered in the early 1960s during unauthorized excavations in the ancient Roman town of Zeugma, and the parts were smuggled abroad. Years later, the pieces turned up on exhibit at Bowling Green State University, after the university bought the mosaics for $35,000. (Photo by Kerem Kocalar/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Kerem Kocalar—Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The missing pieces to the ancient mosaic known as the “Gypsy Girl” are now being displayed in Gaziantep’s Zeugma Mosaic Museum in Turkey after being returned from the U.S.

The fragments of the almost 2,000 year old mosaic of a young girl were displayed on Saturday next to the incomplete work of art, reported the BBC.

The young girl’s eyes have become a powerful symbol to citizens of the southern city of Gaziantep. The pieces were smuggled out of Turkey in the 1960s and bought by Ohio’s Bowling Green State University. After five years of talk between the university and Turkey, Bowling Green agreed to return the pieces.

BBC reported archaeologists discovered the mosaic 20 years ago while excavating the remains of the city of Zeugma, founded by a general of Alexander the Great and destroyed in the 3rd Century.

“The Gypsy Girl has been reunited with her family,” Gaziantep mayor Fatma Sahin said, a statement obtained by Reuters.

As for the others missing pieces, they have yet to be found and are assumed to have been looted or also smuggled out of the country.

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