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Greece: Naxos museum under way

An 8.3-million-euro project bankrolled through the European Union’s Recovery Fund is under way on the Aegean island of Naxos to create Greece’s first state-run museum dedicated to ancient Cycladic art.

Among other priceless exhibits, the Museum of Cycladic Culture will showcase idols seized by US authorities from American billionaire Michael Steinhardt in 2021.

The initiative also seeks to strengthen Greece’s demand for the return of similar items removed from the country illegally, in much the same way as the Acropolis Museum acts for the return of the Parthenon Sculptures.

“The Culture Ministry’s stated policy is that products of looting that belong to the Cycladic civilization but have no known provenance are brought to Naxos, whether they have been seized or returned,” Dimitris Athanasoulis, the head of the Ephorate of Cycladic Antiquities, told Kathimerini.