Vienna and Athens discuss loan of ancient marbles


Vienna’s Kunsthistorisches Museum is currently in discussions with the Acropolis Museum in Athens over a potential loan of two small marble works from their collection. The move has been welcomed by the Greek representative, Nikos Dendias, who expressed his deep satisfaction with the progress made. Talks between the two parties are ongoing, but if an agreement is reached, British Museum will consider returning the Parthenon Marbles.

The discussions are a positive development in the ongoing debate over the repatriation of the ancient Greek artifacts, which were removed from the Acropolis in Athens by the Scottish nobleman Lord Elgin and have been on display in the British Museum since 1832. The loan of the two marble works from Vienna would add to a series of symbolic gestures made by foreign institutions returning fragments of the Acropolis frieze and pediment in their collections.

Greece has recently seen a number of museums return pieces of the 520-foot-long frieze that once wrapped around the façade of the Parthenon Temple, including a museum in Palermo, Sicily, and three fragments returned by the Vatican Museums. The discussions between Vienna and Athens mark the third such gesture of goodwill towards Greece.

Positive momentum for repatriation

The talks between Vienna and Athens are seen as a positive development in the ongoing campaign to return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece. Nikos Dendias, the Greek representative, has welcomed the move, saying that it will “add to a series of highly symbolic gestures that may create a positive momentum” for the repatriation of the marbles from the British Museum.

The technical talks between Vienna’s Kunsthistorisches Museum and the Acropolis Museum in Athens are currently focused on the possibility of a loan of two small marble works from the museum’s collection. While details of the loan agreement have not yet been made public, the move is seen as a significant development in the campaign for the return of the Parthenon Marbles.