German museum returns two ancient artifacts to Greece
Baden state museum in Karlsruhe was forced to return two treasures of ancient Cycladic art, a female figurine 88 cm tall and a copper dish, that were illegally obtained.
Succumbing to pressure from the Ministry of Culture, Harald Siebenborgen, Director of the German museum, finally agreed to return the ancient artifacts, worth 4 million euros.
The truth regarding the artifacts was revealed when Sir Colin Renfrew, Professor at the University of Cambridge, discovered that the specific treasures had been obtained by the Karlsruhe Museum after 1975, i.e. after the signing of the UNESCO Treaty in 1970, according to which the trafficking of ancient artifacts of unknown origin from this year onwards is illegal.
The Ministry of Culture submitted an official request for the return of the artifacts, which was initially rejected. Harald Siebenborgen accused the Greek Ministry of extortion and said that Greece has no legal claim to them. Fortunately, his efforts to keep the artifacts were unsuccessful, and the statue along with the dish were returned.