National Museum of Denmark to keep Parthenon fragments

South Metopes from the Parthenon, on display in the British Museum in London. The three fragments on display in Copenhagen come from South Metope IV. [EPA]

In a public statement last week, the National Museum of Denmark announced that it will be keeping three sculptural fragments from the 2,500-year-old Parthenon, currently on display in its permanent collection in Copenhagen. The three fragments, consisting of two marble heads and a horse’s hoof, came to Denmark between 1688 and 1835.

Despite repeated calls by Greek authorities for the return of all surviving sculptural fragments of the Parthenon’s sculptures held in foreign institutions, Dr. Rane Willerslev, the Danish museum’s director, claimed that “after careful consideration, [the fragments] are of greater importance to the National Museum than if they were sent to Greece.”

While the majority of surviving fragments remain divided between Athens and London, the National Museum’s Head of Research, Dr. Christian Sune Pedersen, added that the three fragments on display in Copenhagen are of “great importance for Danish cultural history and for understanding our interaction with the world around us at a time when democracy was taking shape.”

“It is important for Danes to know Denmark’s place in European history. There have always been interactions between countries, and this has had a huge cultural impact on who we are today. The National Museum of Denmark owns a very small part of the total preserved sculpture fragments of the Parthenon Temple, which are of great importance for understanding our own history in the world,” the historian continued.


To read the full article in Greece Is, click here.

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