A golden crown dating from 350 BCE will be returned to Turkey following the settlement of a legal dispute, which reached Scotland’s highest civil court.
Believed to have been sealed in an ancient tomb, the crown is valued at an estimated £250,000. Café owner, Murat Aksakalli claimed the ornate artefact was a family heirloom he inherited from his grandfather. Police Scotland believe it was looted from a Turkish heritage site and seized it when Aksakalli tried to sell it to undercover detectives in 2010. The Turkish government also claimed the crown had been stolen from the site after examining photographs of the object.
In 2012, former Lord Advocate, Frank Mulholland QC, called for the crown to be returned to Aksakalli and held no criminal proceedings should be brought against him. On Tuesday (5 December 2017), the ownership dispute was due to be brought before the Court of Session in Edinburgh by Aksakalli and the Turkish government. The parties settled before proceedings even began and Aksakalli agreed to return the artefact.
The crown is currently being held at Police Scotland headquarters in Edinburgh.
In other art world news, Lubaina Himid has made history by becoming the first black woman to win the Turner Prize and at 63 years of age, its oldest ever recipient. Himid was born in Zanzibar but is now based in Preston and is considered one of the leaders of the British black arts movement.