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THE KAABA COVER WHICH WAS BROUGHT BACK FROM ENGLAND 18 YEARS AGO HAS BEGAN TO BE EXHIBITED AT OUR ANKARA FOUNDATIONAL WORKS MUSEUM

7/4/2022

The hand-woven Kaaba Cover from the 18th century which was located while trying to be sold to an antique dealer in London was brought back to Turkiye has began to be exhibited in our Ankara Foundation Works Museum after a comprehensive  conservation.

The hand-woven Kaaba Cover which is thought to have been a gift by Damat İbrahim Pasha to the Kurşunlu Mosque in Nevşehir built by himself after his return from pilgrimage and dated to the mid-1700’s was smuggled from Türkiye in 2003. While trying to be sold to an antique dealer in London the location of the piece was determined when the antique dealer asked the Topkapı Palace Museum for an opinion on the cover.

The historical Kaaba Cover was brought back to Türkiye in 2004 thanks to the joint work carried out by the Anti-Smuggling Bureau of the Directorate General of Foundations in contact with the relevant institutions. The Kaaba Cover which was brought to our Ankara Foundational Works Museum was exhibited in a special enclose after examination. Then, the Kaaba Cover which was conserved in the laboratory of the Istanbul Turkish Foundation Calligraphy Museum and  whose conservation was completed there last year has begun to be exhibited once again in Ankara in a special designed room in its open form. 

Decorated by of herbal ornaments consisting of palmette, rumi and dagger leaves in its main layer, the Cover has also thuluth calligraphy inscriptions in drop form in gold and silver wire thread technique in its decorations.

In his statement to AA correspondent, our Director General Mr. Burhan Ersoy said that efforts to bring back many cultural assets such as tombstones, candlesticks, carpets rugs manuscripts, edicts and certificates to Türkiye continue.

Stating that we are carrying out international work on smuggling through security, intelligence and Interpol, Mr. Ersoy expressed our sensitivity about bringing back artifacts to the place where they were taken and  he stated that some of the artifacts are exhibited in museums.

Mr Ersoy  said “As The Directorate General of Foundations, we stand behind all kinds of smuggled and lost items . We follow and finalize the process step by step. Our sensitivity on that issue has been continuing since 2003 “

The inventory receipts and their English translations of the (movable) items that had been donated to mosques and masjids by charitable people or institutions are prepared digitally by the Anti-Smuggling Office of our Directorate General.

The prepared information is sent to foreign representatives and the relevant media through security units, Interpol, customs, governorships, museums the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

When the location of the works is determined the relevant units are informed again to stop the search and the work is brought back.

In this context, from the dates of our office was established in 2002 to the end of 2019, 620 works of art including manuscripts of the Holy Quran, ceramics and woodwork were brought back to Türkiye within 17 years.

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"As for the issues related to the foundations, it is known that foundations constitute an important asset of our country. I hope that all members of Council of Ministers together with the Ministry Of Religious Affairs and even the Supreme Assembly examine this issue with great care and that this great institution is protected from devastation and made useful for our country in order to ensure that our country can benefit from this asset as necessary."

Mustafa Kemal ATATÜRK

1 March 1922, TBMM

" Being a founder, establishing a foundation is a matter of civilization. All our worry and our remedy are on these matters. "

Burhan ERSOY

General Director of Foundations

"Waqfs are the emergence of the divine order “you should compete for favor and taqwa”

Recep Tayyip ERDOĞAN

TR PRESIDENT

"The understanding of the foundation in our civilization is the formation of the spiritual consciousness that it brings to us."

MEHMET NURİ ERSOY
Minister Of Culture and Tourism