A fragment of the Parthenon frieze will be returned to Greece from a museum collection in Italy, under a long-term loan agreement, the Greek Culture Ministry announced last week.
“Subject to the positive opinion of Greece’s Central Archaeological Council (KAS), the fragment is scheduled to arrive to the Acropolis Museum within 2021, as a long-term loan,” the ministry said.
The fragment, from stone VI on the eastern frieze of the Parthenon, is on display at the Museo Archeologico Antonio Salinas in Palermo, Italy.
Based on Italian law, the fragment will be returned to Greece for a duration of “four plus four years.”
In return, Greece will provide the Museo Archeologico Antonino Salinas with a headless statue of goddess Athena, which will then be replaced by a protogeometric vase.
The communication between the regional government of Sicily, Greek Culture Minister Lina Mendoni and the two museums for the return of the Parthenon frieze fragment began in January 2021.
The news comes amid increasing pressure for the return to Greece of the Parthenon Marbles included in the collection of the British Museum. International groups committed to the cause, but also the United Nations General Assembly, the US congress and UNESCO have repeatedly called for a “mutually acceptable solution” to the issue, recognizing the historical, cultural, legal and ethical dimensions involved.