Turkish Museum Puts Hercules Back Together Again

Two halves of an ancient Greek statue have been reunited and are on display in a Turkish museum. The top half spent the last two decades in the Boston Fine Arts Museum. Turkish officials said it was illegally removed from an archaeological site in southwestern Turkey and they spent years trying to get it back.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Now a story of a piece of art made whole again. The marble head and upper torso of a Roman sculpture was rejoined with its lower half at a ceremony in a Turkish museum this weekend.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The reunion took almost 20 years of negotiating. The upper part of the 1,800-year-old mythological figure Hercules had been on display in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Turkish art historians claimed it was taken illegally from an archaeological site in Turkey in 1980, and scientific testing confirmed the two pieces were part of the same sculpture.

MONTAGNE: Last month, the Boston museum signed an agreement transferring ownership of the bust. And Turkey's prime minister took the ancient treasure with him on a flight home after a visit to the U.S. The marble masterpiece is known in English as the weary Hercules. Now that he's been patched up, perhaps he'll regain some of his fabled strength.

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