September 12, 2006

Greece loans antiquities to the British Museum

Posted at 12:44 pm in British Museum, Greece Archaeology

The Greek government has agreed to lend the British Museum a large number of antiquities from the Heraklion Museum on Crete. The treasures will be lent during a period of major refurbishment of the museum during which it would have been closed to the public anyway. Greece is hoping that public displays of cooperation with the British Museum will highlight the fact that unlike some countries, the Greeks have always dealt with the case of the Elgin marbles separately from other archaeological issues. They are hoping that increased cooperation with the British Museum will lead to the possibility of serious discussions with the museum about the Parthenon Sculptures in their collection.
This current cooperation is an example to the British Museum of how resolving their differences with Greece could be beneficial to the museum in the future.

Middle East Times (Egypt)

Friday, September 8, 2006
Greece to loan Minoan antiquities to British Museum
September 8, 2006

ATHENS — Greece has agreed to loan London’s British Museum a collection of priceless Minoan-era antiquities for an exhibition to be held by 2009, the Greek culture ministry has said.

Among antiquities on display will be the renowned bull-leaping frescoes from the Minoan palace of Knossos, Crete, a 3,700-year-old site excavated by British archaeologist Arthur Evans in the early 20th century.

The loan will be possible because of ongoing restoration works on Crete’s Heraklion Museum, where the antiquities are currently housed, a culture ministry official said Friday.

Greek daily Eleftherotypia Friday reported that the loan “aims to reopen talks for the return of the Parthenon Marbles,” a collection of sculpted friezes depicting gods, men and monsters shipped to Britain in the early 19th century on orders from Lord Elgin, British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire.

The Greeks have for 20 years demanded their return, complaining that the works – masterpieces executed at the height of the Greek classical period 2,500 years ago – were illegally removed and are part of their national heritage.

The restitution to Athens this week of a Parthenon marble statue fragment from Germany’s Heidelberg University has rekindled Greece’s determination to secure all the missing parts of the temple, which was badly damaged in a 17th century Venetian siege.

According to the Greek culture ministry, pieces of the 5th-century B.C. temple are currently found in London, Paris, Vienna, Rome, Palermo, Copenhagen, Munich, and Wuerzburg.

Named after the mythical king Minos, master of the fearsome Minotaur, the Minoan civilization flourished during the Bronze Age, covering a period from 2700 to 1200 before the common era.

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1 Comment »

  1. Monica Espinoza said,

    09.22.06 at 10:53 pm

    Here in Perú we are working, with the help of the goberment, for the return of the Machu Picchu artifacts and pieces that Yale has in the Peabody Museum.
    At the moment we’re trying to collect all the information related to similar international cases, so help is needed.
    If you can put us in touch with an international organization able to give us information we’ll be very gratefull.

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