Italy to lend Parthenon marble to Greece – with guarantee

While the British Museum still refuses to return the stolen Parthenon marbles taken 200 years ago, Italy has said it will lend Greece a fragment of a frieze but Greece must, in return, send another treasure loan.

Greece’s Culture and Sports Ministry said the Central Archaeological Council told reporters the deal would take place at its next meeting before the end of 2021, ArtNet reported.

The piece that Italy holds, from Stone VI of the Eastern Frieze of the Parthenon, is in the Museo Archeologico Antonio Salinas in Palermo, Sicily. Under conditions dictated by Italian law, the coin will return to Greece on a four-year loan, with the intention of extending it for four years.

In return, the Acropolis Museum will send the institution in Palermo a headless statue of the goddess Athena, according to the blog. The statue will be replaced by a protogeometric vase after a period of four years, corresponding to the time that the Parthenon frieze remains in Greece.

The Greek New Democracy government made a similar loan offer to the British Museum, without explaining whether this would admit that the stolen marbles now belong to the British, as they have argued.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who before taking office said the marbles should be returned, now says he cannot intervene and it is the British Museum’s board of directors who have said they would never return to Greece.

The site said the British Museum is at a legal stalemate, however, as without legislation allowing it, none of the marbles and other property looted by the British when they had settlements and occupations can be returned.

The report notes, however, that the UK could pave the way for the return of the stolen logs, but that a line of government officials has secretly said this will be blocked as there is no intention to return Greece its treasures.

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