Friday 9 March 2012

Important antiquities returned to Greece from the Getty Museum

Translated trom the Greek: Naftemboriki, 09.03.2012.

The two pieces of the funerary sculpture and one inscribed stele are currently in the National Archaological Museum of Athens, having been returned from the Getty Mueseum.

The National Archaeological Museum in Athens is were two parts of a funerary sculpture and an inscribed stele which were returned from the Getty Museum are being kept.

Last September the Minister of Culture and Tourism, mr Pavlos Geroulanos, and the President and Head Councilor of the Paul Getty Museum, James Guno, signed a Memorandum of Cooperation, which guarantees a clear and institutionalised framework of collaboration and exchange of cultural goods.

The return of these antiquities marks the beginning of a new era in the relations between the Greek Ministry of Culture and the Los Angeles Museum - which is now functioning under an updated framework of principles. It also marks the heightening of Greece's efforts to fight illegal commerce of antiquities. The aim of the collaboration of the two institutions is the systematic reinforcing of scientific research, the highlighting of Greek cultural heritage, and an effort to diminish illegal trafficking of antiquities.

The two antiquities will remain for a short period in the National Archaeological Museum. after this the inscribed stele will be transferred and exhibited in the Epigraphic Museum and the funerary sculpture will be rejoined and will be exhibited in the Kanellopoulos Museum.

Supplementary Information from: To Ethnos, 09.03.2012
By Aggeliki Kotti
Return of Two Ancient Treasures

The inscribed stele that had been on show in the Getty Museum is of special importance. It bears text on the main side and on the two sides. It is a calendar of sacrifices and feasts that were held in Thorikos of Attica, in honour of various deities and local heroes.

It is very important that these celebrations are placed in the framework of Attic months. The inscription is 65 lines long, meaning that it is long compared to similar finds and is dates to the Classical Era (430-420 B.C.).

The text gives a clear image of the customs of the time: Some times the believers had to fulfil difficult obligations. For example some gods demanded the sacrifice during the month of Anthesirion of a young black goat that had two teeth. Other gods were satisfied with a he-goat, brown or reddish.

The parts of the funerary sculpture that were returned belong with another portion that is kept in the Pavlos and Alexandra Kanellopoulos Museum in Athens. The identification of the three pieces as belonging to the same monument had been made in 1975. The image shows two female figures, a lady seated to the left and a slave in front of her touching her cheek with her right hand. In is an exquisite example of sculpture produced by an Attic workshop, dated to the end of the 5th century B.C.

The reward offered to Getty will be the loan, for three years, of an ancient inscribed stele from the Archaeological Museum of Athens, with the approval of the Central Archaeological Council. It bears the image of Herakles and Antiochus, the hero of the Antiochid tribe of Athens, while the inscription refers to the honours that were to be attributed for his bravery to Prokleides, head of the elite troops of the tribe.


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