The remains of a 2,500-year-old horse head and two human statues belonging to the Parthenon temple have been in the Vatican collection since the 19th century.
Vatican leader Pope Francesco decided last December to return these artifacts to Greece. It is stated that the desire for rapprochement between the Catholic and Orthodox churches was effective in this decision.
Vatican News site Vatican News wrote yesterday that these artifacts have arrived in Athens. In the ceremony attended by officials from Greece and the Vatican in Athens yesterday, the dialogue between the two churches was emphasized and the extradition decision was defined as “a gesture of religious solidarity and friendship with the Greek people”.
According to the news, the decision to return the Parthenon remains matured during Pope Francis’ trip to Greece in December 2021.
At the ceremony yesterday, Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Church II. Ieronymos said that this step of Pope Francis, whom he calls “our dear brother”, is “a tangible proof of the fruits produced by the brotherly relations between Christians.” He wished that the decision to return the works would be repeated by others.