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Milos Mayor Aims to Bring Venus de Milo Back to Greece by 2020

A campaign — dubbed “Take me Home” — for the repatriation of the Venus de Milo, one of the most famous marble sculptures in the world, displayed at the Louvre Museum in France, has been launched by the mayor of Milos island, Gerasimos Damoulakis. The mayor aims to bring the statue back by 2020, 200 years from when it was discovered on Milos.

Through the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI), a committee set up by the mayor is aiming to raise 1 million signatures in order for the issue to be included in a plenary session of the European Parliament. The ECI is a European Union mechanism that enables one million EU citizens, coming from at least seven Member States, to call directly on the European Commission to propose a legal act.

Milos Mayor Gerasimos Damoulakis.

Milos Mayor Gerasimos Damoulakis.

“Take me Home” campaign

“We launched this effort — a national effort — and are trying to raise 1 million signatures to take the matter to the European Parliament,” Mayor Damoulakis said on Saturday during his speech at the Nostos 2017 alternative tourism expo in Nafpaktos.

The Venus de Milo statue displayed at the Louvre Museum in Paris, France.The mayor also informed that he sent an official letter to France’s President Emmanuel Macron through the French embassy in Greece, inviting him to Milos and underlining: “It is a great honor to be united by our Aphrodite…”.

According to Mayor Damoulakis, the Venus de Milo will have her own “home” on Milos, the renovated historic building that once housed the old girls’ school in Plaka, the island’s capital. The building, which dates back to 1875, will be named “Aphrodite’s House”. Moreover, the mayor said that he has received assurance from the Defence Ministry for the statue’s careful transport from France when the time comes.

Topic of international conference

The mayor also announced that in April 2018, Milos will host an international conference to further focus on the matter. “Through the conference, which has been embraced by UNESCO of Piraeus & Islands, we will strengthen our effort and hope for Aphrodite to return to her home on April 4, 2020, 200 years from when she was discovered,” he said.

According to Mayor Damoulakis, all of Greece’s municipalities are supporting his effort.

The location where the Venus de Milo ancient Greek statue was found in the beginning of the 19th century.

The location where the Venus de Milo ancient Greek statue was found in the beginning of the 19th century.

“At some point, Greece of culture — a great form of alternative tourism — must come forward, we must move forward and show that we are here,” he said.

The Venus de Milo was discovered on Milos in the spring of 1820, in a rural area of ​the island, in over six separate pieces, and believed to depict Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty. The statue ended up at the Louvre Museum a year later, where it is on display to this day. The Louvre later sent an exact copy of the statue to the Archaeological Museum of Milos.

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About the Author
Nikos is Greek-American born in New York, USA, and has lived in Greece for over 30 years. He is the managing editor of Greece's leading monthly travel and tourism guide, the Greek Travel Pages (GTP) since June 2008 and of news site GTP Headlines since its launch in September 2012. Nikos has also served as international press officer for the City of Athens and for the mayor. He has a degree in Mass Media and Communications, specializing in Journalism. Nikos is a native English speaker and speaks Greek fluently.

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