It is with great pleasure that three fragments from the metopes, the frieze and the pediments of the Parthenon from the Vatican Museums were permanently reunited to the monument to which they belong, the Parthenon, at the Acropolis Museum. This reunification is the result of the systematic work of all parties involved, from both the Holy See and the Vatican Museums, and also the Acropolis Museum and the Ministry of Culture.
The fragments include the head of a young man carrying objects on his shoulders (himatiophoroi) which belongs to block V of the Parthenon frieze, the head of a bearded man from the south metope 16 of the Centauromachy and, finally, the head of a horse which belongs to a Parthenon pediment.
This is the second permanent reunification of parts from the architectural sculptures of the Parthenon, without terms. The permanent return of the Fagan fragment from Sicily last year, followed today by the Holy See with the return of three fragments from the Vatican Museums, sets the example of the road that the British Museum and the British Parliament can and must follow for the final reunification of the Parthenon sculptures.
The reunification of the fragments took place on Friday 24 March 2023, in a ceremony in the emblematic Parthenon Gallery, presence of the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece, Ieronymos II, the Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Bishop Brian Farrell, the President of the Hellenic Parliament, Mr. Konstantinos Tasoulas, the Minister of Culture and Sports, Mrs. Lina Mendoni, the Under-Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Mr. Andrea Palmieri, the Secretary General of Culture, Mr. George Didaskalou, the Director of the Vatican Museum, Prof. Barbara Jatta, and the Director of the Acropolis Museum, Prof. Nikolaos Chr. Stampolidis. The ceremony was attended by the President and Members of the Board of Directors of the Acropolis Museum, members of the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece and of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.