Serbia handed over 1,864 coins and archeological artifacts to Turkey on Thursday.
Turkey's Culture & Tourism Minister Ertugrul Gunay took over the Turkish artifacts seized in an operation at Serbian-Croatia border crossing in 2004 during a ceremony in the Serbian capital of Belgrade.
"Turkey has got back almost 3,000 artifacts between 2003 and 2011," Gunay said during the ceremony.
Gunay underlined importance of sensitivity of Serbian ministry of culture and foreign affairs for world heritage.
"Some developed countries are obstinate not to give back artifacts they have unjustly acquired," Gunay said.
Also speaking in the ceremony, Serbian Minister of Culture Nebojsa Bradic said Turkey and Serbia had had significant cooperation in culture as well as in other areas.
1,485 coins and 379 archaeological artifacts dating to Roman and Byzantine eras were confiscated at the Batrovci border crossing between Serbia and Croatia in 2004. Ankara's Anatolian Civilizations Museum examined the artifacts and said they could be Turkey-oriented.
Belgrade National Museum's experts claimed that artifacts could be from any Balkan countries. However, initiatives were launched to return the artifacts to Turkey after experts found traces of mint offices in Anatolia during the Byzantine and Roman eras (Costantinople, Nikomedia, Nicea) and traces of Anatolian culture on the artifacts.
Upon Serbian Minister of Culture Bradic's positive approach, Turkish experts held talks with their counterparts in October 2009. A report released afterwards said the artifacts could be Turkey-oriented and should therefore be handed over to Turkey.
AAGüncelleme Tarihi: 24 Şubat 2011, 11:26