Turkey investigates art heist from Ankara museum

Dec. 9, 2013 at 2:45 PM   |   0 comments

ANKARA, Turkey, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- Police said Monday they were investigating the theft of about 40 paintings and artifacts, valued at $30 million, missing from an Ankara, Turkey, museum.

The investigation comes after police recovered another 30 major artworks in a raid in Istanbul last week, the Middle East News Agency in Cairo reported Monday, adding many of the missing artworks are believed to have already been sold to art collectors.

Omar Celik, Turkey's tourism and culture minister, said Saturday some of the missing pieces, which he called "works of art which are the nation's heritage," have been recovered, but the government is determined to find the rest.

The Istanbul newspaper Radikal reported a 2010 inventory of Ankara's State Museum of Art and Sculpture found 300 items missing, with several dozen replaced by fakes.

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