Antique statue to cause friction with Turkey at NATO summit?

The Jubelparkmuseum in Brussels will be the setting for a big dinner with some of the world's leading politicians as part of the NATO summit, which takes place on 11 and 12 July. However, the museum hosts a statue which is also claimed by Turkey. 

The Francophone newspaper L'Echo hints that the statue may cause friction between Belgium and Turkey. The statue represents Tyche, the Greek deity who governed fortune and the prosperity of a city. However, the statue is also claimed by Turkey, with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claiming that Belgium illegally acquired the item. 

The work was orginally found in Perge, a Turkish city close to Antalya. Turkey says it was illegally brought to Belgium, but the Belgian authorities claim that they are the rightful owners. "There is not a single proof that Belgium illegally acquired it. It was bought by the museum in 1958. Turkey should prove its case", the Belgian State Secretary Zuhal Demir says. 

One of the 300 guests at the big dinner table will be Erdogan. L'Echo writes that diplomacy is already working: organisers allegedly decided to move the dinner to another hall, in order not to confront Erdogan directly with the "Belgian" Tyche statue and avoid possible friction. 

The NATO summit may trigger practical problems for Brussels residents. Streets will be closed and a parking ban installed at various places such as the area around the American embassy, NATO, the Royal Palace, the Jubelpark and the European institutions at Schuman.  

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