Golden crown of Hecatomnus returned home — a golden crown stolen in 392 B.C. from the burial chamber of Hecatomnus return to Turkey.
A golden crown stolen in 392 B.C. from the burial chamber of Hecatomnus in the Aegean town of Milas and later smuggled to Scotland.
The tomb of Hecatomnus, the father of Mausolus, whose burial chamber (Mausoleum of Halicarnassus) in Bodrum is one of the Seven Wonders of the World, was robbed in 2008 and the stolen golden crown was found two years later in Scotland.
Reported that Murat Aksakallı, 50, who manages a café in the Scottish capital Edinburgh, and his business partners Ali Sanal and Hakkı Özbey made talks with the officials of Sotheby’s and Bonhams auction houses in Edinburgh in order to find a buyer for the crown.
Scottish police got in touch with these three Turks in 2010, pretending to be a buyer, and seized the crown. When questioned, Aksakallı defended himself saying, “I inherited it from my grandfather Fazıl Aksakallı who died in Çemişgezek [district in eastern Tunceli province]. I had kept it for years and then forgot it. But I decided to sell it when my carrier companies got into financial trouble.” The case later went to court.
Judge Frank Mulholland did not file a criminal action against Aksakallı. Turkey, after learning about it from Interpol, became a party in the court, hired Scottish lawyers. Creating an interesting legal example, they sent the golden crown to Ankara on condition that it returned.
The gold findings in the Hecatomnus mausoleum examined and compared with the crown at the Turkish Atomic Energy Authority. Which determined that it had stolen from the tomb, and later sent to Scotland.
The value of the crown is 250,000 British pounds in court records. But Scottish experts said its real value is 1 million pounds.
On Dec. 2, the court ordered the return of the crown to Turkey. It is now set to brought to Ankara in the coming days and then sent to the Milas Museum after displayed there.
On Jan. 17, 2008, treasure hunters dug the bottom of a house in the Hisarbaşı neighborhood of Milas. Then they found the “tomb of the century” in Milas after the “treasury of the century,” Karun, and the “trove of the century,”Elmalı.