Turkey: Troy – Museum of Troy

A brand new museum opened at the Troy site in 2018, displaying the treasures and artifacts discovered here, that represent 4000 years of history of various civilizations of Troy. The museum is a state of the art building with seven sections, all interconnected by a spiral inclined staircase and elevators. About 2000 items are on display here from a total collection of Troy artifacts of about 40000. Most items were transferred here from various other museums in Turkey. Interestingly, some of the most important treasures of Troy displayed here are replicas of originals displayed at the Pushkin Museum in Moscow, Russia – which all makes for an interesting story. Troy was discovered by a German treasure hunter Heinrich Schliemann in 1871, who illegally smuggled a large trove of gold and other treasure from Troy, which became known as Priam’s treasure. He then sold most of the treasure to the Royal Museum of Berlin in 1881. In 1945, during the battle for Berlin at the end of WWII, the treasure was turned over the Soviet Art Committee to prevent looting. The treasure subsequently disappeared and the Soviet Union denied any knowledge about its whereabouts. In 1994, the treasure was displayed in the Pushkin museum in Moscow, and Russia stated that Trojan gold was kept as compensation for Nazi war crimes. In 1998, Russia passed the law prohibiting any restitution of artifacts acquired by the USSR. And that’s why the Museum of Troy doesn’t have the originals (and probably never will).