ATHENS – There is “a dynamic that is being built, step-by-step’ for the repatriation of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece, said Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in statements to The Daily Telegraph newspaper, it was reported on Saturday.
The Greek premier was referring to the announcement made by authorities in Greece and Italy on Wednesday concerning a fragment of the Parthenon frieze which is being returned to Greece, on loan by the “Antonino Salinas” Regional Archaeological Museum in Palermo, with a view of permanent repatriation.
The “Fagan fragment”, as it is known, belongs to the eastern frieze of the Parthenon that shows the seated gods of Olympus watching the annual Panathenaic Procession in honor of the city’s patron, Athena. The procession included the transfer of a woven veil to Athena’s statue in the Parthenon. Depicted in the “Fagan fragment” are the lower legs of Artemis, goddess of forests and hunting, whose body is depicted sideways.
“This is an important fragment (…) which was in Sicily for about two centuries”, noted Mitsotakis, and he stressed that the fragment from Italy is being returned “for eight years with the prospect of remaining in the country indefinitely.”
This agreement with the museum in Palermo “could be the roadmap for an agreement with Britain,” he added.
Referring to his meeting with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in London in November 16 and their discussion of the issue, Mitsotakis underlined that “the debate has reached a critical juncture,” adding that “the ‘elephant in the room’ is the discussion we should have with the British Museum.”
According to the article in The Daily Telegraph, the “Fagan fragment” will be presented at the Acropolis Museum on Monday, January 10.