Vatican City, Dec 16, 2022 / 05:15 am
Pope Francis has decided to give the Greek Orthodox archbishop of Athens three fragments of Parthenon sculptures that have been kept in the Vatican Museums for centuries.
The Vatican announced on Dec. 16 that the pope wants to gift the artifacts to His Beatitude Ieronymos II, the Orthodox archbishop of Athens and All Greece, “as a concrete sign of a sincere desire to continue on the ecumenical journey of witness to the truth.”
The Parthenon is a temple built atop the Acropolis in Athens to honor the Greek goddess Athena in the mid-fifth century B.C.
According to the Vatican Museums website, three marble fragments from the Parthenon’s decorative sculptures arrived in the Vatican’s collection in the 19th century. The fragments include part of the head of a horse from a sculpture of Athena’s chariot, as well as the heads of sculptures of two men.