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Thousands of Greek antiquities repatriated from Germany

8,000 pottery fragments illegally excavated during Second World War

Germany's Pfahlbaumuseum will in June return to Greece 8,000 pottery fragments illegally excavated from Thessaly during the Second World War

Ancient artefacts are seen on display in this photograph distributed by the police after the arrest of three people who had stolen them from a museum in Ancient Olympia (Reuters) Ancient artefacts are seen on display in this photograph distributed by the police after the arrest of three people who had stolen them from a museum in Ancient Olympia (Reuters) Thousands of Greek antiquities removed from Greece during Second World War will be returned to the country from Germany in June, the ministry of culture confirmed on Wednesday.

According to a document submitted to parliament by Alternate Culture Minister Kostas Tzavaras, the Pfahlbaumuseum will return to Greece 8,000 pottery fragments from the Neolithic Era, which were illegally excavated in 1941 near Velestino, Thessaly.

Pfahlbaumuseum is an archaeological open-air museum in southern Germany, consisting of reconstructions of stilt houses from the Neolithic and Bronze Age.

The ministry's general directorate for antiquities is collecting data for all antiquities illegally removed from Greece during the German occupation.

The repatriation of Greek cultural artefacts is among Greece's demands for German reparations from World War II, according to the foreign ministry.

The two ministries are working together on the formation of an international cooperation network through the signing of bilateral agreements for the protection of cultural goods and the prevention of artefact trafficking. Greece has already signed agreements with Switzerland, China, the US and Turkey and negotiations are ongoing with several other countries for the signing of similar agreements.

From 2009 to 2012 the culture ministry's directorate for antiquities has repatriated 278 Greek cultural artefacts and several boxes of osteological material.

 

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