Pope Orders Return of 2,500-year-old Parthenon Pieces to Greece That Have Been in Vatican’s Collection for More Than a Century

Pope Francis has ordered the return of three 2,500-year-old pieces of the Parthenon to Greece that have been in the papal collections of the Vatican Museums for more than a century.

The Vatican said in a brief statement on Friday that the pope was giving them to Ieronymos II, the head of the Greek Orthodox Church, as a gesture of ecumenical dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church.

The Parthenon, which is on the Acropolis in Athens, was completed in the fifth century BC as a temple to the goddess Athena and its decorative friezes contain some of the greatest examples of ancient Greek sculpture.

It was not immediately clear what plans Ieronymos had for the small sculptures.

According to the Vatican Museums website, one piece is the head of the horse that was pulling Athena’s chariot on the west side of the building.

The others are from the head of a boy and the head of a bearded male. They have been in the Vatican since the 19th century.

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Source: Daily Mail