"Treasure of the Century" returns to Turkey

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The Elmali Coins that were revealed in Antalya’s Elmali district in 1984 as a result of unlawful excavations are set to be exhibited at the Antalya Archeology Museum.

The treasure had been smuggled to the United States in 1984 and has been on exhibit in the Ankara Anatolian Civilizations Museum in Ankara since it was returned to Turkey in 1999. The process to get the coins back was hard and challenging, including major legal wars.

Sadik Badak, Antalya deputy for the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, led the efforts to bring the Elmali Coins to Antalya. “The Elmali treasure will be back where it belongs,” Badak told the Dogan news agency. “We have been making efforts for a couple of years now. The coins should be kept in the region where they were produced and where they were once used.”

The exhibition hall in the Antalya Museum has already been prepared. Officials from Antalya were in Ankara on Wednesday to receive the coins. A cocktail party will be held Oct. 26 to celebrate the arrival of the treasure and to mark the opening of the exhibition.

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