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GreeceCultureLooted 7th-century BC oenochoe returned to Greece by Hanover museum, municipality

Looted 7th-century BC oenochoe returned to Greece by Hanover museum, municipality

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An oenochoe, or wine jug, of the 7th century BC that had been removed from Greece during the German occupation in World War II was returned by the Municipality of Hanover and the August Kestner Museum, the Ministry of Culture announced on Tuesday.

The oenochoe has a trefoil-shaped mouth and a cover, and is dated to 620-600 BC. Traces of the decoration around its neck are still visible.

The vessel had been given to the August Kestner Museum by geology professor Hannfrit Putzer in 1986. It was accompanied by a letter of provenance, which said it had been handed over to him after being discovered by Germans in 1943 during excavations at the southernmost end of the Corinth Canal. The vessel was also accompanied by a description of the trench and its position in it.

Commenting on the return of the antiquity, Culture Minister Lina Mendoni said, “The August Kestner Museum joins the group of international museums that have in recent years made great efforts to investigate provenance issues of artifacts in their collections. These (are) museums whose officials have the courage to publicize the results of their research and return to Greece the objects they have determined are linked to illegal acts. The Municipality of Hanover, in its commitment to return cultural artifacts that were stolen during the Nazi occupation to their legal owners, is returning this object of antiquity to Greece. The decision of the Municipality of Hanover and the August Kestner Museum is actual proof of their wish to contribute to the restoration of the damage Greece’s cultural heritage suffered, but also to defend the reputation of the August Kestner Museum.

“The Greek state, in the first years after the end of the war, expended systematic effort to locate and repatriate the antiquities that were looted by occupying forces. This indefatigable effort continues to the present by the relevant Directorate for Documentation and Protection of Cultural Property at the Ministry of Culture, bearing fruit consistently. Museums such as the August Kestner one that assume such initiatives are our valuable allies in this effort. I express my sincere thanks to Mayor Belit Onay, Museum Director Anne Gemeinhardt, Greek Consul General in Hamburg Ioannis Vikelidis, and the Ministry staff members who worked for the repatriation of the oenochoe.”

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The oenochoe’s provenance was researched by Dr Johannes Schwarz, who was assigned by the Museum the research into the provenance of its objects. The Museum also reached out to the ministry’s Directorate of Documentation for the archaeological excavation background. The entire process took two years, until the vessel was handed over by the mayor to the Greek consul general in a ceremony at the Museum in Hanover on Monday that included ministry and Museum officials and members of the local Greek community as well.

SOURCE; ANA-MPA

The copyrights for these articles are owned by the Hellenic News of America. They may not be redistributed without the permission of the owner. The opinions expressed by our authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Hellenic News of America and its representatives.

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