Dallas museum returns stolen mosaic to Turkey



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DALLAS (AP) - The Dallas Museum of Art has returned an ancient mosaic to Turkish officials after discovering it was stolen.

The mosaic was returned to Turkish officials at a ceremony Monday in Dallas. Museum officials also launched an international cultural exchange that will include loaning works of art and sharing expertise. The first initiative will be with Turkey.

The museum bought the roughly 5-foot-by-5-foot Orpheus Mosaic at a public auction in 1999.

The mosaic depicts the mythic poet Orpheus calming wild animals by playing his lyre. It originally decorated the floor of a Roman building.

But the museum discovered evidence earlier this year that it was possibly stolen from an archaeological site. Museum officials then consulted Turkish officials, who provided photographic evidence documenting the looting.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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