As the British Museum still refuses to return stolen Parthenon Marbles taken 200 years ago, Italy said it will loan to Greece a fragement of a frieze but Greece has to, in return, send another treasure on loan.
The Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports said that the Central Archaeological Council told reporters that the transaction would happen at its next meeting before the end of 2021, reported ArtNet.
The piece Italy is holding, fom stone VI on the eastern frieze of the Parthenon, os at the Museo Archeologico Antonio Salinas in Palermo, Sicily. Under conditions dictated by Italian law, the piece will travel back to Greece on a four-year loan, with the intent to extend for a further four years.
In return, the Acropolis Museum will send the Palermo institution a headless statue of the goddess Athena, according to the Archeology.wiki blog. The statue will be replaced by a protogeometric vase after a four-year period, matching the amount of time the Parthenon Frieze remains in Greece.
Greece’s New Democracy government made a similar loan offer to the British Museum, without an explanation whether that would conceded the stolen marbles there now belong to the British, as they have contended.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who before he took that office said the marbles should be returned, now says he can’t intervene and that it’s up to the British Museum board which has said that they will never go back to Greece.
The site said that the British Museum though is in a legal bind because without legislation to allow it, none of the marbles nor other goods plundered by the British when it had colonies and occupations can be returned.
The report noted, however, that the UK could pave the way for the return of the stolen marbles but that a line of government officials have secretly said that would be blocked because there’s no intention of giving Greece back its treasures.