Hattuşa reunites with sphinx
The Boğazköy Sphinx, which was brought to Turkey from the Berlin Pergamon Museum on July 28 after long-running talks with German officials, will go on display Nov. 26 in its home with its other counterpart that has been on display at the Istanbul Archaeology Museum.
The Boğazköy Sphinx, which was taken to Germany from Turkey for restoration in 1917, finally returned to its home, Hattuşa, the ancient capital of the Hittites, after nearly 94 years.
The sphinx, which has undergone maintenance after it was brought to Turkey on July 28, has arrived in Hattuşa in the Central Anatolian province of Çorum’s Boğazköy district under tight security measures.
Another sphinx was unearthed along with the Boğazköy Sphinx during the excavations at the Yerkapı rampart in the ruins of Hattuşa in central Turkey. It was on display at the Istanbul Archaeology Museum and was brought to Boğazkale. Both sphinxes will be displayed in their home at a ceremony held at the end of November with the participation of Culture and Tourism Minister Ertuğrul Günay.
The Istanbul Restoration and Conservation Center Laboratory Director Ali Osman Avşar, who accompanied the sphinx when it was brought from Germany to Çorum, spoke about the process.
Avşar said they had removed the sphinx from its place at the Berlin Pergamon Museum and brought it to Istanbul. He said it was a very difficult process to remove the sphinx from its place as “The sphinx was wall-mounted at the museum.”
‘Difficult to bring it as a whole’
Experts in Germany told Avşar that it would be very difficult to bring the sphinx as a whole. “They asked us to cut the sphinx into pieces, but there was another reason behind it. If we attempted to do it, the sphinx would be broken. Then they would carry out a campaign saying, ‘They broke the sphinx. They destroyed it.’ We felt this and told them that we would be able to take the sphinx as a whole.”
As a result they created 3-D drawings and animations of the sphinx and persuaded German officials, Avşar said. “We packaged it as we planned and brought it to Turkey with the support of Turkish Airlines.”
Avşar said the sphinx had undergone renovations at a laboratory in Istanbul and would be ready for display with the other sphinx after some fine-tuning.
Çorum Museum Director Önder İpek said the two sphinxes would be presented together at a ceremony Nov. 26.
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