Greece displays historic British museum vase amidst parthenon marbles dispute

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Acropolis Museum director, Nikolaos Stampolidis talks to journalists about the 'Meidias hydria', an Ancient Greek vase from 420 BC, on loan from the British museum for the temporary exhibition titled Meanings' at the Acropolis Museum in Athens, Greece, December 5, 2023. The 'Meidias hydria' leaves London for the first time in 250 years. REUTERS/Louisa Gouliamaki

A historic Greek vase known as the Meidias hydria, which is 2,500 years old has left the British Museum after a long period of 250 years to be exhibited at Greeces Acropolis Museum. The exhibition, named “Noemata” delves into how Greek artists portrayed concepts and showcases a collection of 165 artworks from European museums.

Despite the dispute regarding the Parthenon Marbles, Nikolaos Stampolidis, the director of the Acropolis Museum emphasized that this loan for exhibition does not impact the discussions between Athens and London.

The Meidias hydria is considered a piece created by Athenian potter Meidias. It has been part of the British Museums collection since its acquisition in 1772. Standing at over 50 centimeters tall, this vase is adorned with scenes from mythology featuring Heracles, the legendary hero of ancient Greece.

This exceptional exhibition loan is expected to last for four months before it heads to Paris Louvre for an exhibition related to the 2024 Olympics.

In a recent diplomatic incident, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak decided to cancel a meeting with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. The cancellation was due to accusations that Mitsotakis intended to use the meeting as an opportunity to discuss matters regarding the Parthenon Marbles.

Mitsotakis on the other hand, viewed the incident as a development for the movement or campaign to reclaim the Marbles attracting global focus to the matter.

Despite the tension, ongoing talks between the British Museum and Greek authorities raise optimism for a resolution concerning the Parthenon Marbles.

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