Fragments of Parthenon Sculptures are to be returned from the Vatican in the next few days

Reuniting the Vatican fragments of the Parthenon

Everything is ready to return the fragments of the Parthenon Sculptures that the Vatican and Pope Francis promised will be returned to Greece late last year.

In Rome, to complete the return procedures, Minister Lina Mendoni, the minister for culture.Also, the Most Reverend Archpriest Father Emmanuel Papamikroulis, Collaborator of the Synodal Committee of Orthodox and Inter-Christian Relations of the Church of Greece and the Advisors of the Minister Anna Triantafillou-Panagiotarea, and Panagiotis Panagopoulos.

The director of the Acropolis Museum, Nikos Stampolidis, has also gone to Rome, in recent months, has made several visits to coordinate the return of the sculptures and other collaborators. The company that will carry out the transfer has been selected, costing around 10,000 euros that Acropolis Museum will pay.

The Pope changed his mind.

The first thoughts were to reunite the fragments in the form of a long-term loan. However, everything seemed to have changed when Pope Francis visited Athens, where he decided to donate the ancient fragments. However, he stated that his decision should not be seen as impacting Greece's ongoing dispute with the British Museum over the return of the Parthenon sculptures.

e788681b34e320e03366451a20b6b0a7 SUNThESE NEW 3 Kathimerini 900x458 1
The Vatican fragments (courtesy of Kathimerini newspaper)

The fragments are initially from three different sections of the Parthenon - the west pediment, the north frieze and a south metope -  and were likely to have been detached when the Venetian general Morosini ordered the bombardment of the Ottoman-occupied Acropolis fortifications in 1687. Their return is highly significant for Greece.

According to Professor Nikolaos Stampolidis, the General Director of the Acropolis Museum, the announcement was the culmination of verbal and written agreements reached between the Greek Ministry of Culture and the Acropolis Museum with the Holy See and the Vatican Museum and is especially important coming so soon after the reunification of the Fagan fragment in the eastern frieze of the Parthenon.

Read more about the Fragments -From Rome with Love: Reuniting the Vatican fragments of the Parthenon.