Turkey returned two Chinese cultural relics, which were reportedly illegally taken abroad, to China on Nov 25, according to a statement from the National Cultural Heritage Administration.
It is the first successful repatriation of cultural relics between China and Turkey since the two countries signed a bilateral intergovernmental agreement fighting illegal export and import of cultural properties.
The transfer ceremony was held at the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara on Nov 25. Deng Li, Chinese ambassador to Turkey, received the two artifacts on behalf of the Chinese government.
One returned artifact is confirmed to be a mural from a Buddhist grotto during the Tang Dynasty (618-907), and the other is a pottery figurine, roughly dating back to late period of the Southern and Northern Dynasties (420-581) to the Sui Dynasty (581-618), which was used as a funeral object.
China has an embargo for such artifacts to be taken overseas.
According to the statement, the administration was informed that two allegedly stolen Chinese cultural relics were discovered by the Turkish government in December, 2018.
After an appraisal and follow-up negotiations, the Turkish government gave the green light for their return to China in September.