The International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures is an association of various national committees with the shared goal of "The reunification of all the surviving Parthenon Sculptures in the New Acropolis Museum in Athens"
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Finland joins the international campaign for the return of the Parthenon Sculptures.

NEWS UPDATE
December 29th, 2008

Today it was announced that The Finnish Committee the Restitution of the Parthenon Marbles (Parthenonin Veistosten Palauttamiskomitea Ry) has joined the International Association for the reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures.

The Chairman of the International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures, David Hill said he welcomed the addition of the organisation to the international campaign. The Executive of the Finnish committee includes:

President: Ole Norrback, ex Finnish ambassador at Athens

Vice President: Mika Kajava, Professor of classical languages

Secretary: Mika Rissanen, History teacher and non-fiction writer

Treasurer: Teodora Oker-Blom, Science library manager

The International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures now has seventeen members from sixteen countries including Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Britain, Canada, Cyprus, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the USA. Contact details for the Finnish Committee can be found on their members page.

Switzerland joins the international campaign for the return of the Parthenon Sculptures.

NEWS UPDATE
December 15th, 2008

Today it was announced that The Swiss Committee the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles (Comité Suisse pour le Retour des Marbres du Parthénon) has joined the International Association for the reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures.

The Chairman of the International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures, David Hill said he welcomed the addition of the organisation to the international campaign. The Executive of the Swiss committee includes:

President: Professor Dusan Sidjanski

Vice President: Me Olivier Vodoz

Secretary: Fabrizio Micalizzi

Treasurer: Michèle Lubicz-Davet

The International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures now has sixteen members from fifteen countries including Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Britain, Canada, Cyprus, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Sweden and the USA. Contact details for the Swiss Committee can be found on their members page.

Marbles Reunited joins the international campaign for the return of the Parthenon Sculptures.

NEWS UPDATE

November 11th 2008

Today it was announced that British based Marbles Reunited campaign has joined the International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures.

The Chairman of the International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures, David Hill said he welcomed the addition of such an esteemed group to the international campaign.

The Executive of Marbles Reunited includes:

Emeritus President: Eddie O'Hara MP.

Chair: Andrew George MP

Marbles Reunited is a British based campaign for the reunification of the Parthenon Marbles. The official full name of the committee is: Marbles Reunited - Friends of the British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles. From 2001 until 2006, Marbles Reunited was known as Parthenon 2004.

The aims of Marbles Reunited are: "To promote by any lawful means the case for the return of the Parthenon Sculptures to Greece. and to that end, to support The British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles (BCRPM) in its lawful activities." Marbles Reunited runs their own campaign, but works closely with the BCRPM as required - the two organisations complement one another by targeting different aspects of the issue, with each having their own strengths & weaknesses.

Marbles Reunited is governed by a constitution & membership is open for a small annual subscription charge to anyone who supports the aims of the organisation. Marbles Reunited currently has over 60 members.

The addition of Marbles Reunited to the International Association brings the total number of members to fifteen.

Contact details for Marbles Reunited can be found on their member's page

Vatican fragment from Parthenon Frieze is returned

Following only a few weeks after the return of the Palermo Fragment from the Parthenon Frieze, the Vatican has also returned a fragment from the frieze.

Vatican returns Parthenon fragment to Greece
The Associated Press
Published: November 5, 2008

ATHENS, Greece: The ancient marble head of a youth was fitted into place Wednesday at a museum in Athens in a deal that Greek officials hope will serve as a model for returning other treasures.

The one-year loan from the Vatican's Museo Gregoriano Etrusco could be used as a way to regain other iconic Parthenon sculptures that have been systematically removed from Greece in the past. Several European museums — especially the British Museum in London — hold Parthenon artifacts and Greece has long campaigned for their return.
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"This gesture sets an example for others," Greek Culture Minister Michalis Liapis said.

The Parthenon was built 2,500 years ago on the Acropolis in honor of Athena, goddess of wisdom and patron of ancient Athens. It survived virtually intact until 1687, when a Venetian army besieging the Acropolis blew it up with cannon fire during the Ottoman occupation of Greece.

More than a century after the blast, Britain's Lord Elgin removed large sections of the temple's sculptural decoration with Ottoman permission. He eventually sold the works to the British Museum.

Greece has long campaigned for the return of the so-called Elgin Marbles. However, the British Museum has refused, arguing that the works were legally acquired and are accessible free of charge to millions of visitors.

The museum said Wednesday its position on the Elgin Marbles was unchanged by the return of the youth's head.

"We don't think it increases pressure on the British Museum," spokeswoman Hannah Boulton said, adding the Vatican's return was "just a loan."

About half the Parthenon frieze is at the British Museum. A handful of other museums, including the Louvre, own small pieces of it as well, while the remaining fragments are in a new museum under the Acropolis.

The sculpture returned Wednesday was made between 445-438 B.C.. It was part of a 520-foot (160-meter) series of panels — known as a frieze — depicting a religious procession, which circled the outer walls of the Parthenon.

The head, measuring nine by 10 inches (24 by 25 centimeters), is attached to a youth carrying a tray of sweets as an offering to Athena.

Giandomenico Spinola, the head of the Vatican museum's classical antiquities department, said the loan of the sculpture "might" be renewed. He said the museum might also lend Greece another two small bits of the Parthenon sculptures it owns.

"The pieces are the property of the pope, and it is his decision," he said. Pope Benedict XVI discussed the works' return with the visiting Church of Greece leader in 2006.

A similar deal allowed the return in September of another small piece of the Parthenon frieze from a museum in Palermo, Sicily, and the University of Heidelberg in Germany sent back a third piece two years ago.

The Museo Gregoriano Etrusco is the largest museum so far to comply with the Greek request.

The move to regain the works has gained new momentum in recent years because of the construction of the New Acropolis Museum, which is expected to open by next March.

Read the original article on the International Herald Tribune website.

Palermo fragment from Parthenon Frieze is returned

After many years of negotiations between the Greek & Italian governments, the Palermo Fragment from the Parthenon Sculptures has now been returned on loan to Greece. Gradually the Parthenon Sculptures are being retrieved from abroad, meaning that when the New Acropolis Museum opens, more of the Parthenon Sculptures will be on display in Athens than have been seen there for over two hundred years.

Italy returns piece of Parthenon Marbles to Greece
By NICHOLAS PAPHITIS – 15 hours ago

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece has finally taken possession of a chunk of the Elgin Marbles, and now holds renewed hopes of regaining the rest.

Italian President Giorgio Napolitano on Tuesday presented Greek authorities with a small piece of sculpture from the Parthenon kept in a museum in Palermo, Sicily, for the past 200 years.

The 2,500-year-old marble fragment was one of the works Scottish diplomat Lord Elgin removed from the ancient Acropolis in the early 19th century.

Elgin gave it to a friend in Sicily during a stop on his trip back to London, where the rest of his collection is still displayed in the British Museum — despite repeated Greek requests for its return.

Greek President Karolos Papoulias thanked Napolitano for the return of the fragment, which will stay in Athens on permanent loan from the Antonio Salinas Museum.

“As you know, Greece is seeking the return of the Parthenon Marbles (from the British Museum), so you are aware of the importance and the symbolism of this gesture,” Papoulias said after talks with Napolitano Tuesday. “This gesture is especially appreciated.”

The 14-by-13-inch artifact is a foot from a sculpture of Artemis, ancient goddess of the hunt, and originally stood above the entrance to the Parthenon as part of a 520-foot frieze that ran round the temple.

“When we opened the crate, the marble just shone … like a gem,” said Vivi Vassilopoulou, a senior Culture Ministry archaeologist.

It comes from a broken block, larger pieces of which survive in Athens and London, and will be displayed at a new museum designed to host all the Acropolis finds — including the Elgin Marbles.

An Italian official said a museum in The Vatican has agreed to follow up the gesture next month by returning two pieces of the Parthenon sculptures in its collections.

“I hope this will at least open the way (for the return of the Elgin Marbles),” said archaeologist Louis Godart, Napolitano’s cultural adviser.

Culture Minister Michalis Liapis said the loan from Palermo was a boost to Greece’s campaign to reunite all the Parthenon works at the new museum at the foot of the Acropolis.

“The positive responses we received in our international efforts encourage us to continue until we have achieved our target,” he said.

The British Museum argues it legally acquired the Elgin Marbles, which form an integral part of its collections and are easily accessible to visitors from all over the world

The Palermo piece is the second fragment of the Parthenon marbles returned to Greece: The University of Heidelberg in Germany sent back a tiny fragment of the frieze two years ago.

The Parthenon was built between 447 and 432 B.C. in honor of Athena, ancient Athens’ patron goddess, and was decorated with hundreds of sculpted figures of gods and participants in a religious procession. The marble temple survived virtually intact until 1687, during the Ottoman occupation of Greece, when a Venetian army besieging the Acropolis blew it up with cannon fire.

The Venetians started the plunder that was continued by later Western visitors, culminating in Elgin’s visit.

About half of the surviving works are now in London, while museums in France, Germany, Austria and Denmark also own small fragments.

The $190 million Acropolis Museum is set to open early next year.

Designed by U.S.-based architect Bernard Tschumi in collaboration with Greece’s Michalis Photiadis, the glass and concrete building will contain more than 4,000 ancient works.

Associated Press Writer Derek Gatopoulos contributed to this report

Read the original article on the Associated Press website.