As the Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports continues in its efforts to repatriate looted antiquities of Greek provenance from abroad, the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced the imminent return of 15 illegally trafficked objects from Switzerland.
The objects, including figurines, painted ceramic vessels, the marble torso of a nude male statue, a pair of bronze greaves (armored shin guards), a silver coin (stater), and a well-preserved golden diadem, date from prehistory to the Roman period.
The priceless artifacts were seized by Swiss authorities in Geneva, pending further investigation of a well-known antiquities dealer. A subsequent court decision in July 2022 declared the objects had been illegally trafficked and were formally assigned to the Greek state.
Culture Minister Lina Mendoni praised the Consul General of Greece in Geneva, Alexandros Gennimatas, for highlighting the case and for his decisive action in mediating between the relevant authorities. She also thanks the Directorate for Documentation and Protection of Cultural Property for its ceaseless commitment to combating the illicit trade of Greek cultural property abroad.
“The Ministry of Culture and Sports continues to attach great importance to the repatriation of every asset that is inextricably linked to our cultural heritage. The return of cultural objects to their place of origin is a moral obligation between peoples in the context of respect and protect of common global cultural heritage. The need to repatriate cultural property that has been removed illegally or through processes of dubious legality is based on the fundamental principles of international conventions, regardless of time limits,” commented Mendoni.