The campaign of Turkey to reclaim archaeological items taken from Turkish soil is being strongly criticised in Europe claims the Turkish newspaper Hürriyet Daily News ('Turkey’s campaign criticized', October 2 2012).
“The Turks are engaging in polemics and nasty politics,” said Hermann Parzinger, president of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, according to the New York Times. “They should be careful about making moral claims when their museums are full of looted treasures,” Parzinger said. [...] Parzinger told the New York Times that Turkey did not actually posses any legal claim to the artifacts it claims the Pergamon Museum retains illegally. According to the article, Parzinger warned that “treating Germany like a petty thief puts more than a century of archaeological cooperation at risk and harms relations between the countries as Turkey seeks to join the European Union.”I think Parzinger's words give out an entirely (and perhaps unintended - who knows?) message when reported to the Turkish public by the Turkish press that when he was talking to a sympathetic NYT journalist. But he said what he said, and the damage is done.