Italy temporarily returns a fragment of the Parthenon frieze to Greece | cultural | D.W.

The so-called “Fagan fragment”, which is part of the western frieze of the Parthenon, has been loaned to Athens for display at the Acropolis Museum, the Greek Ministry of Culture announced on Monday (01.10.2022), after being for more than two centuries in Palermo, Italy. The fragment was exhibited at the Antonino Salinas Museum in Palermo, Sicily, and was sent to Greece by the mayor’s office, following a decision by the Italian Ministry of Culture.

At the Acropolis Museum, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis received the piece in a ceremony in which he described the shipment, originally offered as an eight-year loan, as “an important milestone which paves the way for “other museums”. way. “Without a doubt, the most important thing is that the British Museum understands that it is time for the Parthenon marbles (…) to come back here, which is their home,” he added.

The piece represents the foot of Artemis, the Greek goddess of nature, hunting and births, and belongs to a part of the Parthenon, dedicated to the deities of Olympus and one of the most emblematic works of the Antiquity.

Greece has been asking London for decades to return these pieces, which were extracted from the ancient Acropolis temple complex in Athens, with the permission of the ruling Ottoman sultan, and sent to London in the early 19th century by the diplomat Lord Elgin. He later sold them to his government for 35,000 pounds and since 1939 these jewels have been on display in the British Museum, while the Acropolis Museum only exhibits copies. The fragment on loan from Italy was in the hands of the former British consul in Sicily, Robert Fagan, and was purchased in 1820 by the University of Palermo.

Mitsotakis recalled having raised the issue of the return again during his recent meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who assured him that he would not oppose a possible agreement that could be reached between the Greek authorities and the British Museum. “I am also particularly encouraged by the fact that the majority of Britons seem to support our request. This indicates that times are changing and that the arguments of the Acropolis Museum and the Greek government are clearly recognized by public opinion in Great Britain. Brittany,” added the Prime Minister.

lgc (afp/efe)

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