Turkish Museum Puts Hercules Back Together Again

Oct 10, 2011
Originally published on October 10, 2011 12:22 pm
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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. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.