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Heidelberg university to return Parthenon frieze fragment

In addition to the Elgin Marbles in the British Museum and the pieces that remain in Athens, there are a number of much smaller elements distributed across a range of other museum in Europe. Now, for the first time, the holders of one of these pieces of the frieze have agreed to return their piece to Athens. If all the holders of small fragments were to follow this example, then it would remove yet another of the British Museum’s arguments for retention, that they are not the only ones holding parts of the sculptures.

Pravda (Russia) [1]

Greece says German university to return fragment of Parthenon
22:51 2006-01-09

Germany’s Heidelberg University is planning to return to Greece a small piece of the 5th-century B.C. Parthenon sculptures from the ancient Acropolis, Greece’s Culture Ministry said Monday.

If the handover goes ahead, it would be the first piece of the sculptures held outside Greece to be returned to Athens.

A ministry announcement said the university’s vice-rector, Angelos Chaniotis, informed Greek Prime Minister Costas Caramanlis of the decision during a meeting Monday in Athens.

“Mr. Chaniotis informed the prime minister that the fragment is to be returned to Greece,” the ministry announcement said. “This is a highly important symbolic gesture.”

The sculpture, which depicts a man’s foot, belongs to the north section of the Parthenon frieze, a 160-meter (525-foot) strip of marble slabs decorated in relief with figures from a religious procession.

Greece has waged a long _ and fruitless _ campaign to win back the Elgin Marbles, a large collection of Parthenon sculptures in the British Museum in London.

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 B.C., reports AP.