14.2.17

Sarcophagus Fragment Returned to Greece


Fragment of the marble façade of an ancient Greek sarcophagus of the Roman period, thought to have been stolen from Thessaloniki in 1989, was handed over to Greece’s consul general Konstantinos Koutras in a ceremony at the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. 


The sculpture, which dates to A.D. 200 and depicts a battle between Greek and Trojan warriors, was recently recovered from a Manhattan art gallery. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., warned art galleries in his statement at the ceremony to “be on guard” for looted objects.

 “The process of establishing an item’s provenance may not be easy,” Vance said, “and it’s often not straightforward, but the alternative is the implicit endorsement of an unacceptable practice through willful ignorance.”

 The sarcophagus fragment will be displayed at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens. For more on archaeology in Greece, go to “Regime Change in Athens.”

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