The “Fagan Fragment” returned to Greece from the Antonino Salinas Regional Archaeology Museum in Palermo, Sicily has been permanently restored to its rightly place within eastern frieze of the Parthenon, in a touching ceremony held at the Acropolis Museum in Athens.
The ceremony took place in the museum’s Parthenon Gallery on Saturday night, where the frieze is on display, in the presence of Culture and Sports Minister Lina Mendoni, the museum’s director Nikolaos Stampolidis and its board chairman, Dr Dimitris Pandermalis, as well as a number of Italian officials.
Commenting on the return of the fragment by the government of Sicily, Mendoni said this showed a “clear and moral path for the return of the Parthenon Sculptures” held at the British Museum in London, adding that it was a historic start.
Stampolidis emphasised the importance of the Sicilian fragment’s return as the first reunification of the Parthenon involving two states, thus showing the path that others can followed, especially the United Kingdom, to restore a monument “that is a symbol of world culture, the Parthenon, a restoration of history and democracy.”
The fragment had come into the possession of the British consul Robert Fagan in circumstances that are not fully understood and it was sold by his wife after his death, some time between 1818 and 1820, to the Royal Museum of the University of Palermo.
It was returned to the Acropolis Museum in January 2022 and put on display next to the frieze where it belongs, while on Saturday it was placed in its position within the frieze.