Fragments from decorative sculptures of the Parthenon representing the head of a horse, the head of a bearded man and the head of a boy will be returned to Greece by the Vatican.
According to an announcement made in December, the Vatican will return three marble fragments from the Parthenon to the Orthodox Church of Greece.
Cardinal Fernando Vergez Alzaga, chairman of the commission governing Vatican City State, signed the documents on Tuesday, saying it was “an important and significant gesture.”
These fragments will be given to Orthodox Archbishop Ieronymos II “as a concrete sign of the sincere desire to continue the ecumenical journey of witnessing to the truth.”
The fragments are taken from decorative sculptures from the Parthenon representing the head of a horse, the head of a bearded man and the head of a boy. Arrived "as part of regular purchases at the end of the XNUMXth century", according to Cardinal Fernando Vérgez Alzaga, they had been part of the Vatican's collection for about two centuries.
"The horse's head comes from the western pediment of the building", can we read on the site Vatican Museums, "on which was the dispute between Athena and Poseidon for the domination of Attica. One of the horses of the quadriga of Athena has been identified in this fragment. On the bas-relief showing the head of a boy, one has recognized a character present in the frieze which surrounded the cella of the temple: a bearer of cakes which were offered during the procession of the Panathenaic in honor of Athena. The head of a bearded man comes on the other hand from one of the metopes on the south of the building, where a centauromachy was represented."
On March 24, a ceremony will be organized in Greece during their reception.