Greece and the Return of Antiquities

 

AncientMacedonianHistory1 Greece and the Return of Antiquities

 Looting Matters, maintained by Prof. David Gill, is an excellent source for all of us who are concerned with issues related to looted antiquities.

Prof. Gill had published some months ago, a summary of cases that involved efforts from the Greek state to bring back  looted treasures from Greece. Certainly it worths to read it.

Source: Looting Matters

Greece has been stepping up its campaign for the return of recently looted antiquities. One of the most famous cases in recently years involved the Aidonia Treasure that had apparently been found in Mycenaean graves not far from Nemea in the Peloponnese. These gold items surfaced in a New York gallery in 1993.

Other objects include a marble funerary lekythos that was returned in the spring of 2008 from a dealer in Switzerland. A fragmentary marble funerary stele, from a rural cemetery in Attica, was returned to Greece in July 2008; the other part of it had been found during excavations. The repatriated upper section was returned by a North American collector. This same collector also handed over a bronze calyx-krater that is reported to have been found in a rich grave in northern Greece.

A gold funerary wreath is also likely to have been found in grave somewhere in Macedonia. This had been acquired by the J. Paul Getty Museum in 1993 after passing through Switzerland. Two other pieces were returned from the Getty at the same time: a Boeotian funerary stele of Athanias that was purchased from a North American gallery in 1993, and a marble kore purchased from Robin Symes in 1993.

A further notable piece that has been brought back to Greece is the bronze “Saarbrücken youth“. This was seized in Germany back in 1998 and is thought to have been found off the coast near Preveza.

More recently Greek authorities have called for the return of three antiquities acquired by the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University in 2002 and 2006.

Greece has also been successful in reclaiming a number of objects that have been stolen from its collections, notably an Apollo from Gortyn on Crete, and some of the material raided from the archaeological museum in Corinth.

Photographic evidence is likely to play a major part in Greece’s continuing search for its looted treasures. A set of images featuring antiquities were seized in 2006 on the island of Schinoussa: this photographic evidence has been handed over to a Greek state prosecutor. It is likely that a further series of returns are likely as the objects are identified. This future Hellenic “homecoming” could be as extensive as the one celebrated by Italy in the “Nostoi” exhibitions in Rome.

Related posts:

Want more of this? See these Posts:

  1. Antiquities seized in Macedonia (Northern Greece)
  2. Five rare Byzantine fresco-icons stolen in 1978 return to Greece
  3. The world’s most disputed antiquities: a top 5 list
  4. Afghan treasures return to Kabul
  5. Macedonia : Spoils of Looting from Greece would have ended in FYROM
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