Two Cycladic masterpieces returned home

• Category: News
Two masterpieces of the Early-Cycladic civilization returned to their home, Greece, after spending many years in a German museum. In fact, one exhibit is among the largest surviving marble Cycladic statuettes and the other is one of the few excavated pan-shaped utensils. Both items date from the Early-Cycladic civilization that developed in the 3rd millennium BC and greatly influenced the 20th century art.

The marble Cycladic statuette dates from 2,800-2,300 BC and represents a standing female feature with hands folded on the chest, while its large size (89 cm) refers to a deity. This type of statuettes was very popular those times in the central Aegean islands. The pan-shaped utensil has a triangle handhold with encarved decoration, showing probably sea themes.

These two wonderful pieces were first obtained by antiquity smugglers and in 1975 they were bought by the Baden State Museum in Karlsruhe, Germany, where they were on display for 38 years. Only the last three years, there have been negotiations between the Greek and German authorities for the return of these two items in Greece. From now on, they will be exhibited in the National Archaeological Museum in Athens.

As these pieces are the products of illegal acts, it is difficult to know their exact origin or any historical information connected to them. Archaeologists believe that they were probably discovered in the islands of Naxos, Amorgos or even in the uninhabited islet of Keros in Cyclades. In fact, the Cycladic statuette of 89 cm is a little shorter than the largest statuette of the period, that was found in Amorgos and is today also exhibited at the National Archaeological Museum.