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Greece – home of stolen masterpieces

Antiquity always presents itself to us in a blindingly white way. Marble is the main material that came to life under the hands of masters. The amazing thing is that people have reached the highest art of stone processing in ancient times. We can say that contemporary artists are only trying to get closer to the masterpieces of ancient plastics.

The greatest marble sculptures today adorn the world’s leading museums. For example, the Louvre and the British Museum. But do not forget that their homeland is Greece. Monuments of ancient history were literally stolen from the country. Collectors of antiquities took advantage of the poverty and illiteracy of the local population.

The Turkish conquerors turned a blind eye to the export of art objects from the occupied territory, which, in their opinion, were of no value. The young Greek state, for a long time, was unable to trace the movement of ancient artifacts. Now there is a fierce struggle for their return to their homeland, but it has not brought significant success.

The Venus of Milos, for example, is still on display in the Louvre. And not many people think about the fact that, in fact, it is not Venus, but Aphrodite. What does “Milosskaya” mean? This name is given by the place of origin of the sculpture. Today, the island of Milos, which belongs to the Cyclades archipelago, is better known as a place where you can spend a great holiday in Greece.

Of course, none of the tourists visiting this little corner of island Greece will miss the story of where and how “Venus” was found. Indeed, this story is amazing. The priceless sculpture was discovered by a peasant. And he couldn’t think of anything better to do than to close the gap in the stone hedge with it. At the time, tours to Greece for antique treasures were very popular among European collectors and scholars.

So it didn’t take long for representatives of the French Archaeological Society to show up. The peasant was very happy to get a few coins for Aphrodite. The French, after all, fearing they might be stopped, removed the statue at night. They dragged her along the rocky road. It was then, not in antiquity, that Aphrodite lost both hands. Moreover, these hands were abandoned along the way and they still can’t be found!

Greece's Stolen Masterpieces

And this is just one of hundreds and thousands of heartbreaking stories of barbarism and outright theft of ancient values. The Greeks of today have not given up hope that the masterpieces created by the hands of their great ancestors will one day be returned home.

For example, the new Acropolis Museum, which recently opened, has several empty halls. These rooms are reserved for exposition, which is not yet feasible. Here should and, we very much hope, will greet admiring spectators, as well as Nika of Samothrace, the sculptures of the Parthenon and Aphrodite from the island of Milos. So far, Greece has only agreed with England on a temporary loan of some exhibits from the British Museum.

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