Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 19 September 2019

Greece wants to borrow a piece of the Parthenon from the Louvre in Paris

The country has proposed a temporary exchange of artefacts to mark its 200th independence anniversary in 2021

Greece has asked France to loan a fragment of the Parthenon displayed at Louvre Museum in Paris to celebrate 200th independence anniversary in 2021. Getty 
Greece has asked France to loan a fragment of the Parthenon displayed at Louvre Museum in Paris to celebrate 200th independence anniversary in 2021. Getty 

Greece has asked France to loan a fragment of the Parthenon displayed at the Louvre Museum in Paris to mark its 200th independence anniversary in 2021.

Located in the Unesco World Heritage Site of the Athenian Acropolis, the more than 2,000-year old Parthenon is a former temple dedicated to the Greek goddess Athena.

On Saturday, a government source told AFP that the proposal from Greece “is being evaluated in a positive manner”, and said, “the details will be worked out by the respective culture ministries. This is a temporary exchange.”

The Athens News Agency on Friday reported that the loan had been discussed between Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and French President Emmanuel Macron in a meeting in Paris on Thursday.

The fragment in discussion is a marble frieze — a term for a decoration piece along a wall — that depicts a mythical battle between centaurs and men.

In exchange, Greece will lend the Louvre a collection of ancient bronze pieces.

According to the Louvre, the frieze was found at the foot of the Parthenon in 1788 by French diplomat Louis Francois Sebastien Fauvel.

The British Museum also has Parthenon Marbles as part of their collection, which are currently on display in London. Greece has long campaigned for these artefacts to be returned.

Celebrated on March 25, Greek Independence Day marks the beginning of the revolution against the Ottoman Empire in 1821.

In 1827, France, Britain and Russia fought alongside Greece in a decisive naval battle in Navarino that helped secure the country's independence. In 1832, the Treaty of Constantinople formalised the status of Greece as an independent free state.

Updated: August 25, 2019 04:48 PM

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