Kythira reveals more treasures from Lord Elgin’s art smuggling operation

Greece’s Ministry of Culture have announced the discovery of more treasures from the legendary shipwreck Mentor in Kythera, which includes chess pieces, tobacco pipes, vials, and even a toothbrush as uncovered by marine archaeologists at the underwater excavations.

The Mentor was the ship on board which Britain’s Lord Elgin smuggled the stolen Parthenon Marbles as well as fragments of other Greek monuments.

In efforts to salvage the precious finds, Elgin called on Kalymnos sponge-divers to haul up whatever they could after the wreck.

The underwater archaeological excavations were conducted by the Greek Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities on July 8-27 at the Mentor, which went down off the harbor of Avlemonas at a depth of 20m in 1802.

The fifth year of excavations has brought to light other finds including personal belongings of passengers and crew, coins, musical instrument decorations and two metal buttons depicting an anchor – part of a sailor’s uniform.

Excavations were carried out with the support of the Kythira Municipality, the Kytherian Research Group, Ilios Shipping Co and the Argo NGO.

GCT Team

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

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