The Vatican has returned the 2500-year-old Parthenon statues to Greece
The Vatican has returned the 2,500-year-old remains of the ancient Parthenon temple in Athens to Greece.
Vatican leader Pope Francesco decided last December to return these artifacts to Greece. It is stated that the desire for rapprochement between the Catholic and Orthodox churches was effective in this decision.
Vatican News wrote yesterday that these artifacts have arrived in Athens. While emphasizing the dialogue between the two churches at the ceremony attended by officials from Greece and the Vatican in Athens yesterday, the extradition decision was defined as a "gesture of religious solidarity and friendship with the Greek people".
According to the report, the decision to return the Parthenon was ripe during Pope Francis' visit to Greece in December 2021.
At the ceremony held yesterday, Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Church II. Ieronymos said that this step of Pope Francis, whom he calls "our dear brother", is "concrete proof of the fruits of fraternal relations between Christians". He wished that the decision to return the works would be repeated by others.
Greece is making efforts to reclaim the remains of the Parthenon from other countries. Italy, one of these countries, returned a piece of the Parthenon statue to Greece last year.
The dispute between Greece and England continues on the return of the Elgin Marbles, which are still on display at the British Museum.
Dozens of Parthenon ruins, which were smuggled to England by the British diplomat Lord Elgin in the 1800s, were bought by the British government and started to be exhibited in the British Museum in London.
The Greek newspaper Ta Nea reported last December that British Museum Director George Osborne had secret talks with Greek Prime Minister Kiriakos Mitsotakis on extradition and that an agreement was "on the way".
But last January, then-British Culture Minister Michele Donelan said the Parthenon statues should not be returned.