ISTANBUL, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) -- A Roman marble sarcophagus illustrating the Twelve Labors of Hercules was sent back to Turkey overnight from Switzerland, 50 years after it was smuggled out of the country, Turkish media reported on Thursday.
The three-ton ancient sarcophagus was brought to Istanbul by a cargo plane from the Swiss city of Zurich and is expected to be taken to Turkey's Mediterranean city of Antalya on Thursday, media reports said.
It was widely believed that the 2nd-century stone coffin was unearthed in an illegal excavation in 1960s in Antalya and was smuggled abroad thereafter.
According to press reports, the rare piece, worth several million U.S. dollars, was first seen at the Geneva Freeport warehouse complex in Switzerland in 2010 and seized by Swiss customs officials.
Following efforts by the Turkish authorities, a Swiss public prosecutor ordered the return of the sarcophagus to Turkey in 2015.
The sarcophagus will be displayed in Antalya Archaeological Museum.