Skip to main content

"Homecoming" for Part of the Parthenon Frieze

A fragment of the Parthenon frieze has been returned to Greece (Επιστρέφει στην Ελλάδα θραύσμα του γλυπτού διάκοσμου του Παρθενώνα από το Παλέρμο, in.gr September 23, 2008). The sculpture forms part of the foot of Artemis from the East Frieze (Slab VI). The piece has been on display in the Museo Archeologico Regionale "Antonino Salinas". Its return reflects the growing cultural links between Italy and Greece.

The Parthenon fragment forms part of the exhibition, "Nostoi", in the New Acropolis Museum which opened yesterday (September 24, 2008). Mihalis Liapis, the Hellenic Minister of Culture spoke at the press launch. Unlike many of the other returned antiquities that have been acquired by museums and private collectors since 1970, the Parthenon fragment is a reminder that Greece considers it has a strong moral claim to cultural property removed from its soil even prior to the formation of the modern Greek state. Liapis considered the New Acropolis Museum to be one large "nostos" (το Νέο Μουσείο της Ακρόπολης είναι το μουσείο ενός μεγάλου νόστου).

Image
From in.gr.

Comments

Attis said…
[...] "that Greece considers it has a strong moral claim to cultural property removed from its soil even prior to the formation of the modern Greek state"

I think that the argument for the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece is not a "moral" but a scientific/archaeological one... Unless you're talking about scientific morality/integrity.
David Gill said…
The scientific / archaeological claim is that the architectural sculptures will be united in a building that overlooks the Parthenon. The New Acropolis Museum is a stunning structure that will enhance the display of these sculptures.

And then there is the issue of the integrity of these 5th century monuments.
Attis said…
Thank you, I completely agree with these arguments

Popular posts from this blog

Codename: Ainsbrook

I have been watching (UK) Channel 4's Time Team this evening. The programme looked at an undisclosed field (under a potato crop) where a Viking burial had been found. The location in Yorkshire was so sensitive that it was given a codename: Ainsbrook. Here is the summary:
In late 2003 two metal detectorists were working in a field in Yorkshire. They found 'treasure' buried just beneath the surface – a collection of Viking material next to a body. Although they had been detecting on the site for a number of years, during which time they had made large numbers of finds, nothing they had uncovered previously compared with this. They decided to share their discovery with archaeologists.The programme explored the tension between metal-detectorists and the English Heritage sponsored archaeologists putting six trenches into the field based on a geo-physical survey. Finds made by the metal-detectorists did not easily map onto the archaeological features.

Part of the programme had an …

George Ortiz collection to be displayed in London

Christie's is due to display part of the former collection of the late George Ortiz in London in a non-selling show to mark the 25th anniversary of the exhibition at the Royal Academy. There is a statement on the Christie's website ("The Ortiz Collection — ‘proof that the past is in all of us’"). Max Bernheimer is quoted: ‘Ortiz was one of the pre-eminent collectors of his day’.

We recall the associations with Ortiz such as the Horiuchi sarcophagus, the Hestiaios stele fragment, the marble funerary lekythos, and the Castor and Pollux.

Bernheimer will, no doubt, wish to reflect on the Royal Academy exhibition by reading Christopher Chippindale and David W. J. Gill. 2000. "Material consequences of contemporary classical collecting." American Journal of Archaeology 104: 463-511 [JSTOR].

Bernheimer will probably want to re-read the two pieces by Peter Watson that appeared in The Times: , "Ancient art without a history" and "Fakes - the artifice b…

Tutankhamun, Christie's and rigorous due dligence

It was announced today that the Egyptian authorities would be taking legal action against Christie's over the sale of the head of Tutankhamun ("Egypt to sue Christie's to retrieve £4.7m Tutankhamun bust", BBC News 9 July 2019).

The BBC reports:
Egypt's former antiquities chief, Zahi Hawass, said the bust appeared to have been "stolen" in the 1970s from the Temple of Karnak. "The owners have given false information," he told AFP news agency. "They have not shown any legal papers to prove its ownership." Christie's maintain the history of the piece as follows:
It stated that Germany's Prince Wilhelm von Thurn und Taxis reputedly had it in his collection by the 1960s, and that it was acquired by an Austrian dealer in 1973-4. However the family of von Thurn und Taxis claim that the head was never in that collection [see here].

Christie's reject any hint of criticism:
"Christie's would not and do not sell any work whe…