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German returns antique artifact to Greece; found during Wehrmacht works in Thessaloniki

A German national has returned an antique artifact to Greece. The antique ‘cup’ painted in black and with remains of decoration is in perfect form and dated back to the classical times of Ancient Greece. It was handed over to the Greek Embassy in Berlin by a German citizen. According to his own information, the cup was found during excavations for the construction of a shelter for the Wehrmacht Army in Thessaloniki during the occupation of Greece by Nazi Germany in World War II.

According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Culture and Sports, the German citizen said that the cup “was given to his grandfather as a gift for his contribution to interrupt the shelter  construction works, after he discovered antiquities in the excavations ground.” The grandfather was serving in the German Navy, the ministry said adding that the vase was most probably found in the area of Anhialos. It did not say who gave the gift and what happened to the rest of the antiquities.

The item was repatriated on April 6th 2018.

According to the Greek Ministry, the return of the vase is the most recent case of a series of repatriations of ancient cultural goods from Germany. The artifacts have been handed over to Greek authorities by German citizens whose deceased relatives were in possession of this items. the artifacts had illegally left Greece decades ago.

The Ministry of Culture tries “in every way to raise public awareness of the issue of cultural heritage protection and welcomes any voluntary return of antiquities,” the statement said.

As a result of this policy, thanks to the excellent collaboration of the Ministry of Culture with the Greek Embassy in Berlin, eight ancient objects of Greek origin have been repatriated from Germany in the last three years. Among these, it is worth mentioning a section of marble inscription, dating back to the Hellenistic period (2nd-1st century BC), from Cheironia, exported by a German citizen illegally from the country in 1965″ the ministry said adding that the item was repatriated last November.

The vase has been forwarded to the National Archaeological Museum.

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