On September 22, 2011, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Republic of Turkey finalized an agreement transferring ownership of the 2nd century, Roman Imperial sculpture Weary Herakles (MFA accession no. 1981.783) to the Turkish government.

bust of Herakles, aged and with weary expression on face

The MFA acquired a half-interest in the sculpture, which shows the head and torso of the mythological hero Herakles, in 1981 from a dealer in Frankfurt, Germany. In 1990, while the object was on loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, a scholar noted its similarity to the bottom half of a Herakles sculpture that had been excavated in 1980 in Perge, Turkey (held by the Antalya Museum, Turkey). Shortly thereafter, the Turkish government claimed ownership of the MFA sculpture. In 1992, casts were made of the MFA torso and the sculpture excavated from Perge. The two pieces fit together, and it was determined that they originally formed one sculpture which was broken apart.

When and where the torso was excavated has not been documented. According to information provided by the dealer who sold the Weary Herakles to the MFA, his mother acquired it around 1950 from a German dealer, who had bought it from a European private collection. This account has never been verified.

Discussions with Turkey began in the early 1990s regarding a solution that would allow the two halves to be reunited. After the MFA acquired full interest in its part of the sculpture in 2004, these discussions resumed. In 2011, the MFA deaccessioned the Weary Herakles for transfer to the Turkish government, and the object returned to Turkey.