The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

Switzerland returns objects from antiquity to Greece

Switzerland has returned two ancient objects stolen from various regions of Greece to Athens. According to official information, the items in question are a fragment of a stone inscription with proper names and a fragment from a marble colonnade.

According to all indications, the stone fragment from the third century BC comes from the island of Kos, the Ministry of Culture in Athens announced on Thursday. The second fragment comes from the city of Corinth and from the Roman period between the first and second centuries AD.

The valuable objects had been handed over by Swiss citizens to the archaeological service of the canton of Graubünden, which was able to document their authenticity and origin, whereupon they were returned.

There has been an agreement between Greece and Switzerland on the repatriation of cultural property since 2011, the Ministry of Culture in Athens added. It did not say who handed over the valuable objects.

For Greece, such returns are a boost in the attempt to obtain the return of the marble slabs and sculptures from the frieze of the Parthenon temple on the Acropolis, which are in the British Museum in London. At the beginning of the 19th century, the British diplomat Lord Elgin had the best-preserved parts of the Parthenon frieze dismantled and brought to England. There he sold them to the museum in 1816. The museum has so far refused to return them.


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