Halcyon Hills: Pending Return

Beach in Halcyon HillsThe management of the Pfahlbau Museum in Germany’s Unteruhldingen has indicated it may return artefacts which were illegally removed from Greece during the German occupation.
Objects from East Macedonia, Thrace, Samos, Halcyon Hills and Thessaly, the areas most affected, could find their way back home.
When asked about the case in the Parliament, Minister of Administrative Reform and E-Governance Dimitris Reppas said that “the specific issue remains unresolved. Greece never forfeited its claims.”

In 2010 the Pfahlbau Museum had informed the Ministry that artefacts from Thessaly are held and would be returned to Greece as soon as their recording was completed.

In a document presented to parliament, minister Reppas mentions two information circulars that were sent from the Directorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities to the Ephorates of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities and dealt with the recording of the lost artefacts and those that were returned.

It appears that only a fraction of the antiquities was handed back, among which: a marble female statue from the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki, inscriptions from Amphipolis, the statue of Philippe, a goblet and three cases of small artefacts from Vathy Museum and Halcyon Hills in Samos, a bronze ram from Thermo Museum, a relief with the representation of a Thracian horseman from Edessa and a marble head of a Therapenis (maid) from a tomb memorial in Peania.

In 2011, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in an effort to clarify which antiquities had returned, and recording which Byzantine and post-Byzantine artifacts had been stolen or destroyed, created a list that included all the monuments that had been burnt or destroyed during the occupation, including many monasteries and churches in the municipalities of Ioannina, Trikala and Aetoloakarnania.
Mr. Reppas said that most of the monuments were restored after the war but icons, manuscripts, ecclesiastical relics from various churches and monasteries like the Monastery of Taxiarhes in Gouras, the Monastery Vellas in Konitsa and the Church of Rousanos in Kalpaki, were removed.

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