The government of Turkey has refused to loan any more artifacts to several American and British museums until several disputed items at those museums are returned to that country, The Art Newspaper reports. The ban means no more loans for London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, or its British Museum.
For New York’s museums, only the Metropolitan Museum of Art has been included in the ban, which, for now, doesn’t actually affect it.
The Met has confirmed that a dozen antiquities are now being claimed by Turkey, but would not identify the individual items. A museum spokeswoman says: “The matter is under discussion with the Turkish authorities.” This month, the Met is due to open “Byzantium and Islam” (14 March-8 July). Many loans are coming from the Benaki Museum in Athens, with none requested of Turkish museums.
The British Museum seems to have suffered the greatest inconvenience at the moment. The museum had apparently requested 35 artifacts from Turkey for its current exhibit “Hajj: Journey to the Heart of Islam.”