An effort to un-lose Marbles

September 8, 2006

A precious stone thought to have been swiped by a German academic 135 years ago has been returned to Greece. The Greek Government hopes the gesture will bolster efforts to bring back the Elgin Marbles from the British Museum.

Giorgos Voulgarakis, the Greek Minister of Culture, travelled to Heidelberg University this week to collect part of the controversial sculpture. The 8cm by 11cm stone had been missing from the Parthenon since at least 1871.

It shows part of a sandalled foot and the hem of a robe and is thought to have been taken by an academic as a souvenir.

The Culture Minister praised Heidelberg for breaking "the silent agreement of museums that possess such items in London, Paris, Vienna, Rome, Palermo, Copenhagen, Munich and Würzburg".

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