ATHENS – Culture Minister Lina Mendoni on Monday unequivocally condemned and deplored the looting of ancient Scythian artifacts from the Melitopolis Museum as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, while noting that this was “not the first time that Russia has treated works of art in this way”.
“It is truly painful to watch, in addition to the tragic hours experienced by the citizens of Ukraine due to the Russian invasion, the heinous looting of Scythian artifacts from the Museum of Melitopolis,” Mendoni said, adding:
“It is sad that the barbarity of war is demonstrated with attacks on museums and all that expresses human thought and culture. This is not, however, the first time that Russia has treated works of art in this way. For decades after the fall of the nazi regime, Priam’s Treasure from the Schliemann excavation was taken to Russia, to be revealed many years later, in 1993, in the Pushkin Museum.”
“We unequivocally condemn these actions. Already, at the last Council of Culture Ministers of the European Union, in Luxembourg, we asked for measures to protect the cultural heritage of Ukraine, specifically the creation of a Red List to prevent their illegal trade and the creation of a platform to collect information on looting and theft of cultural goods, as well as the launch of initiatives for taking ad hoc legal and legislative measures to protect the cultural heritage of Ukraine. Taking such measures is now urgent, as well as essential,” Mendoni concluded.