Three fragments of the Parthenon were returned to Greece on Friday March 24 by the Vatican, which had kept them for more than two centuries, during a ceremony at the Acropolis Museum in Athens.
The donation of the Parthenon fragments, which had been kept in the Vatican Museums for over two centuries, is a gesture of friendship and solidarity with the people of Greece,” Bishop
Brian Farrell said at the ceremony. , Secretary for Promoting Christian Unity.
It is a horse's head, a young boy's head and a bearded man's head, according to the Vatican Museums.
The Greeks “
legitimately desire the return of the fragments to their homes, to their original location
,” Bishop Farrell said, welcoming the move by Pope Francis.
Still tensions between Greece and England
Greece also hopes to obtain the return of the friezes of the Parthenon which are in the British Museum in London despite a final dismissal from London in January.
London claims the sculptures were "
" in 1802 by British diplomat Lord Elgin who sold them to the British Museum.
But Greece maintains that they were the object of "
" while the country was under Ottoman occupation.
For decades, Greece has been asking for the return of a 75-meter frieze detached from the Parthenon as well as one of the famous caryatids from the Erechtheion, a small ancient temple also on the rock of the Acropolis, both key pieces of the British Museum.
The restitution of the Parthenon friezes is a highly sensitive subject in Greece.
In the Acropolis Museum, a space left empty is reserved for this frieze.