Turkey has denounced the new room of the Louvre Museum dedicated to Islamic Art inaugurated in October by French President Francois Hollande, due to the fact that exhibits stolen artwork from the Piyale Pasha Mosque of Istanbul in the 18th century.
Turkish Minister of Culture Erurul Guenay secretly sent two experts to Paris, who confirmed that three terracotta murals now on display were looted from the Mosque, which They were designed by the architect of the Ottoman Empire Mimar Sinan for the Ottoman Vizier and Grand Admiral Piyale Mehmed Pasha between the years 1565 and 1573.
“We are closely following these valuable works of art that were stolen and we have already started the procedures to recover them”, The Turkish minister told the French newspaper La Croix. The Turkish government is also claiming ownership of other pieces of terracotta that French archaeologist Albert Sorlin Dorigny allegedly stole from the country in 1880 from the tombs of the Sultans Selim II and Murat III, and of the Mahmut I Library.
“The French institutions acquired the works in question during the 19th century, in good faith and with full legality”, Informed representatives of the Louvre Museum to the same newspaper.
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan is waging an aggressive lawsuit campaign against major international museums with the aim of recovering art that has been stolen from Turkey over the centuries, as its main task is to open a Museum of Civilization of 25,000 square meters in the city of Ankara in the year 2023, on the 100th Anniversary of the Turkish Republic.
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