Fifteen Stolen Artifacts to Return to Greece from Switzerland
Fifteen Greek artifacts, dating from the prehistoric to the Roman period, will be repatriated to Greece from Switzerland, according to a recent announcement by the Culture Ministry.
The antiquities were recovered following a Geneva court order issued in the context of criminal proceedings against a well-known antiquities dealer.
The list of artifacts includes figurines, clay and copper pots, a gold diadem with laurel leaves, a torso of a naked young male figure, a bronze torso of a nude male athlete, a pair of bronze spats and a silver coin.
These items, among others, had been foreclosed by the authorities in Geneva. After the Greek Consulate in Switzerland informed the Culture Ministry about the foreclosure, a lawyer representing the Greek State was appointed in order to make all necessary actions to gain access to the findings.
Eventually, a court ruling in July 2022 assigned the items to the Greek State as products of illegal trafficking.
“Repatriating antiquities connected to Greece’s cultural heritage, has been one of our ministry’s main goals during the last years,” said Culture Minister Lina Mendoni, adding that the repatriation of cultural goods to their birthplace is a “moral obligation” that all nations should abide to, considering that they want to respect and protect the common global cultural heritage.
Mendoni also expressed her gratitude towards the Consulate General of Greece in Geneva Alexandros Gennimatas; the Greek State attorney that handled the case, Romanos Skandamis; the Swiss Archaeological School; and the ministry’s department specializing in documenting and protecting cultural property, for their contribution in repatriating the lost antiquities.
So now it is the turn for Venus de Milo?