December 4, 2008

Parthenon fragment is returned

Posted at 12:31 pm in Acropolis, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

More coverage of the return of a fragment from the Parthenon (note that whilst this is a decorative element of the building, it is not a part of what is normally described as the Parthenon Sculptures (frieze, metopes & pediment). Nonetheless, it still represents yet another significant return within a single year).

Press TV (Iran)

Greece retrieves Parthenon marble piece
Wed, 03 Dec 2008 15:49:18 GMT

Greece has retrieved a marble fragment belonging to a Parthenon temple, which was removed by an Austrian soldier during World War II.

The piece, which was part of a frieze decorating the temple’s inner colonnade, bears an inscription saying it was taken from the Acropolis in Athens on February 16, 1943, when Greece was occupied by the Germany-led Axis powers.

Martha Dahlgren, who inherited the piece from her grandfather, returned it to Greece on Tuesday. The fragment was the third piece of the Parthenon Marbles, recently retrieved by Greece. The Vatican returned one last month and a Sicily museum handed another one back in September.

“Today we honor the return of an architectural part of the Acropolis … It is a very symbolic return,” Greek Culture Minister Michalis Liapis said in a statement.

Greece has been striving hard to recover its ancient artifacts, especially the decorative frieze removed from the Parthenon by the then-British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, Lord Elgin, in 1801.

Also known as the Elgin Marbles, the Parthenon Marbles were purchased by the British Museum in 1816 and displayed in its Duveen Gallery.

The British Museum has repeatedly refused to return the 2,500-year-old frieze saying that its statutes would not allow it to do so, Reuters reported.

“The request for the return of the Parthenon Marbles has exceeded the borders of our country. It has become the request and the vision of the global cultural community,” concluded Liapis.

The Parthenon Marbles, are a collection of marble sculptures, inscriptions and architectural members that originally belonged to the Parthenon and other buildings on the Acropolis of Athens.



Greece Gets Another Piece of the Parthenon
Published: December 3, 2008

ATHENS—A small marble fragment of the Parthenon frieze was returned to Greece yesterday by a woman who inherited the piece from her grandfather, Reuters reports.

The 2.8-by-12-inch piece contains an inscription saying it was taken by an Austrian soldier on February 16, 1943 — during the three-year occupation of Greece by the Axis powers. Martha Dahlgren, the woman who inherited the fragment, decided to return it to Greece.

“It was a very symbolic return,” said Greek Culture Minister Michaelis Liapis of the gesture. Liapis also used the occasion to reiterate Greece’s request for the return of the Parthenon Marbles, which currently reside in the British Museum: “The request for the return of the Parthenon Marbles has exceeded the borders of our country. It has become the request and the vision of the global cultural community,” he said.

This is the third Parthenon fragment to go back to Greece recently. Last month, the Vatican lent Greece the marble head of a youth on one-year loan, and a Sicilian museum returned another piece in September.

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