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December 30, 2013

Stolen and Recovered Antiquity: The Hippocampus brooch of the Lydian Hoard ("Karun Treasure") recovered in 2012 in Germany

Constanze Letsche in Istanbul reported for The Guardian in "King Croesus' golden brooch to be returned to Turkey" that German government officials have agreed to return the Hippocampus brooch of the Lydian Hoard ("Karun Treasure"), allegedly sold by the director of the museum in Uşak and replaced with a copy sometime between 1993 and 2006.
Although details of the brooch's latest recovery are unclear, Turkish officials are delighted. "I am very happy to hear that the piece will finally return home," said a culture and tourism official, Serif Aritürk, who is responsible for the museum in Usak. "Since I was in office in 2005 and 2006 I felt personally responsible for the theft; our directorate came under a lot of pressure." He added that he had never doubted the brooch would reappear. "No collector would have dared to acquire such a well-known artefact, it was clear that the thieves would not find a buyer easily."
The Hippocampus brooch was found in Germany.

Here The History Blog provides backstory on the recovery and theft of this object.