The British Museum is getting ready to open its doors for a special exhibition of antique findings from the ancient city of Troy. "Troy: Myth and Reality" will feature around 300 artifacts in a special gallery from Nov. 21 to tell the city's story.
Pots, silver containers, bronze weaponry, statues and sarcophagi are among the items that will be displayed, most of which are on loan from the Berlin Museum, Britain's Ashmolean Museum in Oxford and the Danish National Museum. Most of the artifacts were smuggled out of Turkey by German archaeologist and businessman Heinrich Schliemann in the 19th century. The exhibition will feature 19th-century copies of two pieces from a trove of gold jewelry that was also smuggled out from Troy and is now on exhibit at Moscow's Pushkin Museum. The artifacts will also include works from the Roman period and later eras of the ancient city, which is the setting of Homer's Iliad.
Lesley Fitton, a curator of the exhibition, underlined Schliemann's mistake in smuggling artifacts from Troy to Greece. Fitton told Anadolu Agency (AA) the German archaeologist was never given permission to take the artifacts out of Turkey. He was banned from digging at the site but was later permitted again to do so after paying a fine. The artifacts were smuggled to Athens, but he later donated all of them to the Berlin Museum, she said, adding some gold pieces such as Helen's jewelry and the "Treasure of Priam" were taken to Russia after World War II and disappeared until the 1990s. "There are layers of quite complex ethical questions here about where these materials should be," she noted.
The exhibition will remain open until March 8, 2020.
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