ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey says the Boston Museum of Fine Arts has returned a piece of a Hercules statue after two decades of negotiations.

Turkey had claimed the top of the Weary Heracles, Greek for Hercules, was stolen from an archaeological site in the Mediterranean town of Perge and smuggled into the U.S. The bottom half of the statue has been displayed in Turkey.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he brought the top of the statue on his plane back home Sunday after the Boston art museum agreed to return it as a “goodwill gesture.”

The 1,900-year-old marble statue shows the tired hero leaning on his club. It stands about five feet (1.5 meters) high.

Erdogan says Turkey has successfully forced various countries to return more than 4,000 smuggled artifacts since 2002.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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