From US, Gypsy girl mosaic pieces back home in Turkey

Missing pieces of the famed “Gypsy girl mosaic” arrived in Turkey from the U.S. on Tuesday via flag carrier Turkish Airlines.

Under a protocol signed this May by Turkey’s Culture and Tourism Ministry and Bowling Green State University in the U.S., 12 pieces of the Roman-era mosaic were sent back to Turkey from an airport in Chicago, Illinois.

The pieces landed at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul to be taken to the southeastern Gaziantep province via another plane, but they are expected to reach the city early Wednesday, as some flights were cancelled due to fog at Gaziantep Airport.

The pieces will be temporarily exhibited in a special case at the Zeugma Mosaic Museum in Gaziantep. Later, they will be restored to their original place among the larger mosaic, famed for the ancient girl's haunting eyes.

The pieces were discovered in the early 1960s during unauthorized excavations in the ancient Roman town of Zeugma, and the parts were smuggled abroad.

Years later, the pieces turned up on exhibit at Bowling Green State University, after the university bought the mosaics for $35,000.

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