We all know of Greece's government's attempts to get the Parthenon Marbles returned from Great Britain to their original homeland. The Gods know I blog about it enough, after all. Now, the Turkish government is endeavoring to do the same with their national treasures, the artifacts belonging to the ancient Hellenic city of Knidos in the southern Turkish province of Muğla's Datça Municipality.

Knidos (Κνίδος) is an ancient settlement located in south-western Asia Minor, modern-day Turkey. It was an ancient Hellenic city of Caria, part of the Dorian Hexapolis. It was built partly on the mainland and partly on the Island of Triopion or Cape Krio. Knidos was a city of high antiquity. According to Herodotus's 'Histories' (I.174), the Knidans were Lacedaemonian colonists. Diodorus Siculus ('Bibliotheca Historica' 5.53) claimed that Knidos was founded by both Lacedaemonians and Argives. Along with Halicarnassus (present day Bodrum, Turkey) and Kos, and the Rhodian cities of Lindos, Kamiros and Ialyssos it formed the Dorian Hexapolis, which held its confederate assemblies on the Triopian headland, and there celebrated games in honour of Apollo, Poseidon and the nymphs. During the hellenistic age, Knidos boasted a medical school.

The first Western knowledge of the site was due to the mission of the Dilettante Society in 1812, and the excavations executed by C. T. Newton in 1857–1858. In a temple enclosure Newton discovered the fine seated statue of Demeter of Knidos, which he sent back to the British Museum, and about three miles south-east of the city he came upon the ruins of a splendid tomb, and a colossal figure of a lion carved out of one block of Pentelic marble, ten feet in length and six in height, which has been supposed to commemorate the great naval victory, the Battle of Knidos in which Conon defeated the Lacedaemonians in 394 BC. The Knidos Lion is now displayed under the roof of the Great Court in the British Museum.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), Datça Municipality Mayor Gürsel Uçar said they are determined to regain the artifacts and they will apply to the Culture and Tourism Ministry for assistance. He said the artifacts unearthed in Knidos, in present-day Datça, are stored at the Marmaris Museum and Bodrum Museum as well as in storage at Middle East Technical University and Selçuk University. He added that the artifacts should be displayed and stored where they are excavated.
Datça has two protected areas called Reşadiye and the Old Datça Neighborhood. The latter draws thousands of tours every year thanks to Knidos. However, the municipality also wants to make Reşadiye a tourist attraction with a museum where they can display the artifacts from Knidos. The municipality previously contacted the ministry, and they were assured that the small museums in the region will be closed and a new museum in Datça will be built. However, Uçar stressed that there has been no development since. Tourist guide and an official of Datça Municipality's Department of Culture, Osman Akın, told AA that thousands of artifacts have been unearthed in Knidos, and a huge part of these artifacts are displayed in museums in the UK. He said the 'Lion of Knidos' and 'Demeter of Knidos' sculptures are still showcased in the British Museum in London.

"The worst thing is that the other artifacts unearthed in the ancient city are not displayed in Datça either. We had to make replicas of the sculptures in order to remind people that these artifacts were excavated from Knidos. We are determined to display the artifacts unearthed in Datça at their original site. We decided on a 20 hectare area in Reşadiye for the museum building. Although Reşadiye was taken under protection, the region does not have the necessary historical atmosphere. We want to develop Reşadiye and build a museum in the region."