An important decoration of the Parthenon on the Acropolis in Athens has returned to Greece. It was previously kept in a museum in Sicily, Italy. The ornate piece as part of the Parthenon frieze is the foot of the Greek hunting goddess Artemis, who is seated on a throne, the Athens Ministry of Culture announced yesterday. It was originally glued to the east side of the famous building on the Acropolis – it is in the museum of the same name.
At first it was only supposed to be a loan. However, Greece, the regional government of Sicily and the Italian Ministry of Culture have agreed to make the valuable piece of the Acropolis Museum available in perpetuity, according to the Ministry of Culture. According to Greek Culture Minister Lina Mendoni, the return shows “the way for all parts of the frieze to return to Athens”.
Disagreement with Great Britain
Greece has been demanding for decades the return of sculptures that have been in the British Museum since 1816. The British have refused to do so until now. Italy and Greece have long worked closely together to return the stolen artifacts.
A new museum was built under the Acropolis in the Greek capital in 2009. There are real pieces on display, along with plaster casts of lost items. The Parthenon (“The Chamber of the Virgin”) is one of the most famous surviving monuments from ancient Greece.
The best-preserved parts (“Elgin Marbles”) of the Parthenon were owned by the British ambassador, Lord Elgin, which had been dismantled at the beginning of the 19th century and brought to England. He sold it to the Museum in 1816. 56 of the 96 panels from the frieze have since been in London.
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