Pope Francis will return to Greece three Parthenon marbles that the Vatican has had for two centuries

FILE – The marble head of a young man, a small fragment of the 2,500-year-old sculpted decoration of the Parthenon Temple on the ancient Acropolis, is displayed during a press presentation at the new Acropolis Museum in Athens, November 5. , 2008. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis, File) (Thanassis Stavrakis/)

The Vatican and Greece have finalized an agreement for the return of three fragments of Parthenon sculptures that have been in the collection of the Vatican Museums for two centuries, the latest case of a Western museum caving in to restitution demands. .

The Vatican described the return as a ecumenical “donation” to the Orthodox Christian Archbishop of Athens and all Greece, Jerome II, not necessarily as a transfer from state to state. However, he pressures the British Museum to come to an agreement with Greece over the fate of its much larger collection of Parthenon sculptures.

“This morning at 11:30 an agreement will be signed, for the implementation of the Pope’s donation, in the presence of the President of the Governorate of the State of Vatican City, Cardinal Fernando Vérgez, the Minister of Culture and Sports of Greece , Lina Mendoni and the director of the Vatican Museums, Barbara Jatta,” the Holy See announced.

Vatican and Greece sign agreement for 'donation' of Parthenon marbles
The Vatican called the return an ecumenical “donation” to the Orthodox Christian Archbishop of Athens and all Greece, Jerome II, not necessarily a state-to-state transfer. (Photo Santi Visalli/Getty Images) (Santi Visalli/)

The fragments are expected to arrive in Athens at the end of this month, with a ceremony scheduled for March 24 to receive them.

According to some sources, the fragments of the Parthenon will leave the Vatican this Wednesday for Greece.

The three marble fragments kept until today by the Vatican museums depict a horse’s head It comes from the western pediment of the building, in which the dispute between Athena and Poseidon for the domain of Attica was represented.

Vatican and Greece sign agreement for 'donation' of Parthenon marbles
The fragments are expected to arrive in Athens later this month, with a ceremony scheduled for March 24 to receive them. (Grant Faint/)

The other fragment is a relief with the head of a childa character present in the frieze that surrounded the temple cell: a bearer of the cakes that were offered during the procession of the Panatheneas in honor of Athena, while the other is a head of a bearded man, who is thought to have been located in one of the metopes on the south side of the building, where a Centauromachy was represented.

The British Museums have rejected decades of appeals from Greece to return its much larger collection of Parthenon sculptures, which have been a centerpiece of the museum since 1816.

However, earlier this month, the president of the British Museum said the UK and Greece were working on a deal that would see his institution’s Parthenon Marbles displayed in both London and Athens.

Vatican and Greece sign agreement for 'donation' of Parthenon marbles
The Erechtheion or Temple of Athena Polias is an ancient Greek Ionic temple-telesterion on the north side of the Acropolis, Athens, which was primarily dedicated to the goddess Athena. (Paul Biris/)

The sculptures of the V century a. C. are mostly remains of a 160-meter-long (520-foot) frieze that ran along the outer walls of the Parthenon Temple on the Acropolis, dedicated to Athena, goddess of wisdom.

Much of the frieze and the rest of the temple’s sculptural decoration were lost in a 17th-century bombing raid, and about half of the remaining works were removed in the early 19th century by a British diplomat, Lord Elgin.

(with information from AP and EFE)

Keep reading:

For Greece, it is “difficult but not impossible” for the historic marbles to return to the Parthenon

Despite international pressure, the UK will not return the Parthenon marbles to Greece

Greece demanded from the United Kingdom the return of all the pieces of the Parthenon that are in the British Museum

Source-www.infobae.com