Roman-era artefacts have returned to Turkey more than half a century after looters smuggled them out.

Visitors walk next to Roman-era mosaics that were part of a US university's art collection and were returned to Turkey, more than half a century after looters smuggled them out, during an exhibition at the Zeugma Mosaic Museum, in Gaziantep, Turkey, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018.
Visitors walk next to Roman-era mosaics that were part of a US university's art collection and were returned to Turkey, more than half a century after looters smuggled them out, during an exhibition at the Zeugma Mosaic Museum, in Gaziantep, Turkey, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. (AP)

Turkey has put on display Roman-era mosaics that were part of a US university's art collection and were returned to the country more than half a century after looters smuggled them out.

At a ceremony on Saturday, Culture Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy thanked Ohio's Bowling Green State University administrators and others who were instrumental in the return of the artefacts, which are believed to have come from the ancient city of Zeugma in Turkey's southern Gaziantep province.

Bowling Green bought the 12 mosaics from a New York gallery in 1965. Turkish and Bowling Green officials agreed upon their return in May.

US Embassy diplomat Jeffrey Hovenier said: "We are delighted to welcome home part of Turkey's glorious heritage."

The mosaics are being exhibited at Gaziantep's Zeugma Mosaic Museum.

TRT World's Sara Firth reports from Gaziantep.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies