Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Italy Repatriates Parthenon Piece to Greece

The New York Times has reported that Italian President Giorgio Napolitano has presented Greek authorities with a small piece of sculpture from the Parthenon that had been kept in a museum in Palermo, Sicily, for the past 200 years. For more, see: http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/world/AP-EU-Greece-Italy-Parthenon.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=Italy%20returns%20Parthenon%20&st=cse&oref=slogin

The piece in question is a 14-by-13-inch foot from a sculpture of Artemis, ancient goddess of the hunt, that was originally a part of a 520-foot frieze that ran round the temple.

Despite the hopeful claims of the Greek President, I find it doubtful that the British will consider the return of this fragment and others like it as much of a "precedent" for the repatriation of the Elgin Marbles from the British Museum.

What I find somewhat puzzling is that the the fragment is apparently not being given outright, but rather is said to be on a "permanent loan." Perhaps, this was done to avoid some Italian or Greek legal provision relating to deaccession or taxes.

No comments: