Piece of Acropolis returned after 50 years
The Museum of Antiquities in the Dutch city of Leiden will return to Greece a small marble fragment of the Acropolis, the ancient fortress and temple complex in the capital Athens.
Newspaper de Volkskrant reports that the piece of marble, probably part of a cornerstone located just above a column, was stolen by a Dutch tourist more than 50 years ago.
The Dutchman wanted to donate the stone fragment, measuring 15 by 5 centimetres to the National Museum of Antiquities. However, the museum could not accept the donation as the souvenir was taken out of Greece illegally, and has decided to return it to Greece.
The Greek embassy in The Hague says it hopes other museums will follow the Dutch museum example. In the past, many tourists have stolen bits and pieces of Greek monuments.
A spokesperson said he hoped the incident would eventually lead to the return of the Parthenon marbles, a collection of marble sculptures, inscriptions and architectural members that were removed from the temple by the British in the early 19th century and are now on display at the British Museum in London. The Parthenon is a temple in the Acropolis dedicated to the goddess Athena.
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