January 12, 2006

Frieze fragment to be returned

Posted at 10:27 pm in Elgin Marbles

More on the proposed return of the Heidelberg fragment of the Parthenon Frieze.

Chicago Tribune

German university returning art piece
Items compiled from Tribune news services
Published January 10, 2006

ATHENS, GREECE — A German university plans to give back a fragment of the Parthenon sculptures, marking the first time any piece of the statues held outside Greece has been returned to Athens, the Culture Ministry said Monday.

The vice rector of Heidelberg University, Angelos Chaniotis, informed Greek Prime Minister Costas Caramanlis of the decision during a meeting Monday in Athens, the ministry said.

The 5th Century B.C. sculpture from ancient the Acropolis, which depicts a man’s foot, belongs to the north section of the Parthenon frieze, a nearly 500-foot-long strip of marble slabs decorated in relief with figures from a religious procession.

Daily Telegraph

Wednesday 11 January 2006

Pressure over Elgin Marbles as piece of the Parthenon goes back to Greece
By Hannah Cleaver in Berlin
(Filed: 11/01/2006)

Greece announced yesterday that a German university intended to return a piece of the Parthenon, increasing pressure on the British Museum to do the same with the Elgin marbles.

According to the Greek culture ministry, Heidelberg University was “disposed” to give back the heel of a male depicted in the frieze which originally adorned the Parthenon.

It said the assurance had been given to the Greek prime minister, Kostas Karamanlis, by the university’s vice chancellor Angelos Haniotis, who is of Greek origin.

A ministry statement said the university’s offer to hand back the heel was “judged as a measure of exceptional symbolic importance in so far as it is the first part of the Parthenon frieze returned to Greece”.

The ministry added that the university considered the return of the artefact “a matter of duty towards humanity”.

Much of the eastern frieze of the Parthenon, which stands on the Acropolis overlooking Athens, was removed by Lord Elgin in 1806, while Greece was dominated by the Ottoman empire. He later sold the marbles to the British Museum.

The Greek government has been demanding that Britain return them for more than two decades.

The Heidelberg heel comes from the north section of the Parthenon frieze, a 525-foot strip of marble slabs decorated in relief with figures from a religious procession.

Parts of the Parthenon sculptures are also held in the Louvre in Paris and in museums in the Vatican, Vienna, Munich, Copenhagen and Palermo.

The Parthenon temple on the Acropolis, dedicated to Athena, goddess of wisdom, was built between 447 and 432 BC.

Such is the sensitivity surrounding the topic that Heidelberg University refused to confirm or deny the report yesterday.

Mr Haniotis also declined to comment.

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