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Germany Returns Greek Cycladic Artifacts

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Germany returned two Cycladic art artifacts to Greece on Friday, that include one marble and one stone relic.

The National Archaeological Museum in Athens received the pieces in an official return, where they will remain on display. Culture and Sports Minister Panos Panagiotopoulos was present during the exchange, along with German government delegates, Greek Culture Ministry leaders and the German museum that contained the two artworks. Panagiotopoulos coined the return as a stride in the illegal antiquities trade.

According to ANA-MPA, the Culture and Sports Minister stated, "The traditionally close friendship of the two peoples has been tested in recent years by the economic crisis and in many cases become trapped in stereotypes or 'shadows' cast by the economic crisis. Through today's event we send a message of friendship, harmonious cooperation and a common course for the two people".

Both heirlooms are from the Cycladic period, that was characterized by illegal art smugglings. They were purchased in 1975 by the Baden State Museum in Karlsruhe, Germany. The Hellenic rarities were only returned to their rightful owners, after the National Archaeological Museum refused to work with the Baden Museum three years ago.