Thanks to SMU Professor’s Work, Pieces of Famous “Gypsy Girl” Mosaic Returned to Turkey

By Kylie Madry (B.A. Journalism, B.A. Political Science ’18) Tile by tile, workers laid intricately designed mosaics of theater masks, satyrs and birds almost 2,000 years ago in a wealthy family’s dining room, in an area then known as Zeugma, in modern-day Turkey. Buried over time, these Roman-era stone and glass pieces remained undiscovered until the 1960s, when looters crudely ripped them from the ground and sold them on the black market. Twelve of the mosaics made their way to Bowling Green State University (BGSU), in Ohio, where they were installed in the university’s Wolfe Center for the Arts in 2011. As a recently hired art history professor at BGSU, Dr. Stephanie Langin-Hooper was tasked with planning a lecture series around the pieces, which the university had bought in good faith.