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Thursday, 6 June 2013

Dear Queen Liz, may we have our artifacts back?

A Turkish lawyer and film producer has written to Queen Elizabeth II requesting the return of artifacts taken from Bodrum's Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, which are currently displayed at the British Museum.

Remzi Kazmaz sent his letter via the British Ambassador to Ankara, and says if he doesn't get a satisfactory answer within two months (the official response time) he and a group of other lawyers will apply to the European Court of Human Rights.

The mausoleum in happier days. You can see the four horses at the top of the structure (among other items) at the British Museum.

Two of the ancient world's seven wonders were found in Anatolia. One was the temple of Artemis at Ephesus, the other the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus in Bodrum. Some pieces of the mausoleum was sent to the British Museum during the Ottoman period.

This isn't the first time letters have been exchanged over the contentious issue. The writer known as the Fisherman of Halicarnassus, Cevat Sakir Kabaagacli, wrote to the British Museum several years ago. Kabaagacli stated in the letter that the mausoleum was only valuable under Bodrum's blue sky.

The museum retorted that the mausoleum artifacts was stored in a blue hall. Not quite the same as being in their rightful place overseas in Bodrum.