the Acropolis Museum in Athens, will soon receive a fragment from Parthenon frieze of the Museo Archeologico Antonio Salinas located in Palermo, Italy, the Ministry of Culture announced on Wednesday.
This is an extract from Stone VI of the eastern frieze of the Parthenon, which depicts the Olympian gods seated and watching the procession and the handing of a veil to the goddess Athena. The fragment depicts the foot of the goddess Artemis as she watches the procession of the Panathinaia festival.
The fragment is also known as the “Fagan” fragment because it was previously part of the collection of Robert Fagan, former British Consul for Sicily and Malta.
The fragment will return to Greece as part of a long-term loan agreement for a period of eight (four plus four) years.
In return, Greece will provide the Museo Archeologico Antonino Salinas with a headless statue of the goddess Athena from the end of the 5th century BC, which will then be replaced by a protogeometric vase from the first half of the 8th century BC.
The agreement also provides for the development of joint cultural initiatives by the Acropolis Museum and the Museo Archeologico Antonio Salinas.
An important cultural accord
Cultural authorities in Greece and Sicily consider the deal to be of significant importance as discussions continue and focus on returning the Parthenon fragment to Athens on a on a permanent basis.
According to Alberto Samona, Sicilian Regional Councilor for Cultural Heritage and Sicilian Identity, “this is a cultural agreement of exceptional international importance”.
“Sicily has become a forerunner on the issue of returning the Parthenon marbles to Greece, also contributing to the long-standing discussion around the world,” he said.
For her part, the Greek Minister of Culture Lina mendoni thanked the regional government of Sicily for its contribution to the efforts to repatriate Greek antiquities.
“I express my gratitude for the tireless and constant efforts of the Government of Sicily and of the adviser Alberto Samonà for the legal settlement [of the issue] under the Italian Code of Cultural Heritage, so that the fragment returns definitively to Athens, ”she said.
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