Fifteen ancient artefacts dating from the Prehistoric to the Roman period will be repatriated to Greece from Switzerland. The objects have been retrieved after a decision of the Geneva court against a well-known antiquities dealer.
According to a press release issued by the Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports, the artefacts are figurines, clay and bronze vases, a golden diadem with laurel leaves, the torso of a naked young male figure, a bronze statuette of a naked athlete, a pair of bronze greaves and a silver coin (stater).
These objects were under conservative confiscation by the Geneva authorities. The Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports, after being informed by the Consul General of Greece about the case, has taken every necessary action in order to gain access to all the confiscated artefacts. Among them there were fifteen objects of Greek interest. In July 2022 the court ruled that these antiquities were objects of illegal trafficking and that they were to be returned to the Greek state.
As minister of Culture and Sports Lina Mendoni stated: “The Ministry of Culture and Sports, especially in recent years, attaches great importance to the repatriation of every cultural object which is inextricably linked to our cultural heritage. The return of cultural goods to their place of birth is not only a universal issue but also a moral obligation between peoples in the context of the respect and protection of the world’s common cultural heritage. The need to repatriate cultural goods that have been removed illegally or through processes of questionable legality is dictated by the fundamental principles of international conventions, regardless of time limits or limitations. Apart from the strictly speaking illegal trade products, there are antiquities which have been removed in a way which is damaging for the monument or the archaeological context to which they belong. We are systematically working on the basis of a holistic management plan with main goals the expansion of the protection of cultural goods, the combating of illegal trafficking and the return of Greek antiquities to their place of origin.”