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Erechtheion fragment to return to Athens

On Thursday, 6 July 2023, The French Department of the Rhone returned a marble fragment from the Erechtheion temple on the Acropolis to Greece’s possession in Lyon.

The 5th-century BC architectural fragment is from the upper architectural section of the Erechtheion and has an egg-and-leaf carved ornamentation, according to a statement from the Ministry of Culture. It was returned to Greece’s ambassador in Paris in a special ceremony.

It had been in the possession of an elderly French woman for many years who voluntarily handed it over. The woman, Jacqueline Junelles, had owned the shard since the 1970s and knew its exact point of origin. She tasked historian Jean-Claude Mossiere to hand it over to the relevant authorities.

“The repatriation of the cultural goods illegally exported from our country is a political priority and a constant pursuit of the Ministry of Culture and the Archaeological Service. Every voluntary return of antiquities to their native land causes us great joy and great satisfaction,” said Minister of Culture Lina Mendoni.