A captivating ancient stone fragment, believed to originate in Mediterranean Turkiye, has found its way back home after being housed in a museum in the picturesque city of Leiden in the Netherlands, Anadolu Agency reports.
The artefact was recently received by Turkiye’s ambassador to the Netherlands, Selcuk Unal, marking a significant moment in the preservation of cultural heritage.
In an interview with Anadolu, Unal told how an anonymous collector had delivered the intriguing artefact to the National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden.
The journey of this artefact began when the Netherlands Institute in Istanbul shared information with the cultural heritage protection division of the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry.
After expert examination, it was definitively established that the relic had indeed come from Turkiye.
With little known information about the artefact’s history, officials at the museum in Leiden, in a commendable display of cultural stewardship, decided voluntarily to return the piece to its homeland.
“We received the ancient stone fragment, temporarily kept in the storage of the National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden with Pinar Bilgen Ermis,” the Culture and Tourism Counselor at the Turkish Embassy in Amsterdam, said Unal.
He added that the artefact is thought to be an architectural piece or a tombstone.
The historical artefact bears the inscription ‘UESE[B].’ It is possible that these letters are part of the names ‘Eusebius’ or ‘Eusebeia’. The curator of the museum also dates this stone to the second or third century, AD
It is believed to originate from Perge, an ancient Lycian and, later, Greek settlement, whose ruins are now located some 5 kilometres (3.1 miles) from the popular modern-day resort of Antalya, on the Turkish Riviera.