Turkey police recover millennia-old sculpture of god Hermes

The sculpture had found a buyer for $1 million who tried to smuggle it out of the country

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Police in central Turkey have recovered a series of ancient artifacts, including a 2,000-year-old statue of the Greek god Hermes, during an anti-smuggling raid, the Dogan news agency reported.

Hermes, depicted in art as possessing large wings, was among the central gods of ancient Greek religion and often carried out the function of divine herald or messenger.

The head of the mythical god was seized on Jan. 13 as part of a three-month operation by the Sivas Police Department Directorate of Anti-smuggling and Organized Crime Branch, the agency said.

The agency said it had been claimed that the artifact had found a buyer for $1 million some three years ago who then tried to smuggle it abroad.

The agency quoted Cumhuriyet University academics as confirming that the head of Hermes was the original one, but that further examinations would be conducted in the coming days.

Police also seized three rings, a plate, 23 coins, six Ottoman-language books, a metal ashtray, two column pieces and four stones inscribed with different motifs in the simultaneous raids that were carried out on Jan. 13 in Sivas, Nevşehir, Adıyaman and Kayseri, the agency said.

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