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Texas museum discovers it houses stolen artwork

Published On: Dec 04 2012 07:28:43 AM CST

DALLAS (AP) -

The Dallas Museum of Art has returned an ancient mosaic to Turkish officials after discovering it was stolen.

The mosaic was returned to Turkish officials at a ceremony Monday in Dallas.

Officials also announced the launch of an international cultural exchange called DMX, or Dallas Museum Exchange, which will include loaning works of art and sharing expertise. The first initiative will be with Turkey.

After discovering evidence earlier this year that the roughly 5-by-5-foot Orpheus Mosaic was possibly stolen from anĀ archaeologicalĀ site, the museum consulted Turkish officials who provided photographic evidence documenting the looting. The museum bought the mosaic at a public auction in 1999.

The mosaic depicts the mythic poet Orpheus calming wild animals by playing his lyre. It originally decorated the floor of a Roman building.