An ancient cup, smuggled by a Nazi German, handed back to Greece


Last Wednesday Athen’s National Archaeological Museum officially repatriated a 6th century wine cup from the University of Münster, in Germany. The return of the cup sparks the interest to the curious story behind it.

  The vessel pottery was awarded to Spyros Louis, the victor of the marathon of the first modern Olympics in 1896. Then it went missing only to be found in 2014 at the University of Münster, in Germany.

The investigation led by Georgios Kivvadias, director of the vase collections at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens found that the vessel, had probably been bought on the art market in Athens by a German archaeologist Werner Peek, who in the thirties worked at the German Archaeological Institute in Athens . 

  In 1934 the vessel was smuggled out of the country  by the notorious Nazi military leader, Hermann Göring.

In 1986 the University of Münster, acquired ” the vessel, decorated with an image of two black-figured athletes against a clay-red background”, without knowing the exact origins of the piece.

The wine cup is currently displayed in the National Archaeological Museum,before joining  the Olympic collection in Olympia next year.

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