April 18, 2024

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Vatican to Return Its Parthenon Marbles Fragments to Greece

2 min read
Vatican to Return Its Parthenon Marbles Fragments to Greece

Pope Francis introduced these days, December 16, that he would return all the fragments of the Parthenon Marbles held at the Vatican Museums back again to Greece. The pope termed the return a “donation” to the Greek Orthodox Christian archbishop His Beatitude Ieronymos II of Athens and a gesture of his intention to “follow in the ecumenical route of reality.” The a few fragments — depicting the heads of a horse, a boy, and a guy — have been in the Vatican’s assortment due to the fact the 19th century.

The fifth-century BCE Parthenon Marbles when adorned the Acropolis in Athens, exactly where they depicted figures from Greek mythology, a famous fight scene, and a procession from the “Panathenaea” annual Athenian pageant. The sequence of sculptures, friezes, and reliefs have grow to be the matter of hotly contested debates and calls for repatriation. In the early 1800s, the British Lord Elgin taken off a significant portion of the Classical Greek marbles from the Acropolis and introduced them back again to England, where by they went on exhibit at the British Museum in 1832. Now, the operates are around split involving Athen’s Acropolis Museum and the British Museum, while other establishments these types of as the Louvre also keep fragments.

The Pope’s choice comes amidst mounting pressure on the British Museum to return its part of the objects, but the London institution has a short while ago doubled down on its refusal to repatriate the historic artifacts and as an alternative recommended a loan. In 2008, the Vatican loaned one particular fragment, head of a person, to Greece for a single calendar year, but this time, the artifacts are likely back for good.

The Vatican retains a large swath of cultural heritage objects from about the world and has been questioned to repatriate objects ahead of. This summertime, Canadian Indigenous leaders referred to as on the Pope to return their cultural objects from the Vatican Museum, an primarily critical act supplied the Catholic Church’s purpose in Canada’s “residential colleges,” the place thousands of children died. So considerably, the objects have not been returned.

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