Greece to claim back stolen ancient vases on sale in London

Two marble funerary vessels
Two marble funerary vessels

Greece's Culture Ministry in Athens announced on Thursday, it would seek to reclaim two stolen 2,300-year-old antique vases recently offered for sale in London.

"Two marble funerary vessels, made by Classical-era Attic workshops, were recently put on sale at the Frieze Masters art exhibit in London," the Ministry said in a statement.

"They are a lekythos (oil vase) depicting a funerary procession and a loutrophoros (water vase) with carved decoration, dating from the 4th century BC," it said.

"These two Greek antiquities are already being claimed by the Culture Ministry, which will continue efforts to repatriate them using every possible means," the statement said.

The two marble vases, also known as “lekythoi”, date back to the 4th century BC.

According to The Guardian, the vases were put on sale at the Frieze Masters art fair in London on behalf of the Swiss canton of Basel-Stadt, which is seeking revenue it is owed after the liquidation of the assets of convicted illegal antiquities trafficker Gianfranco Becchina, a former resident.

The Greek authorities were alerted to the lekythoi’s presence by Interpol and the Ministry of Culture has stressed it will continue its efforts for the repatriation of the vases.

*Image source: The Guardian 

GCT Team

This article was researched and written by a GCT team member.