Nobel Foundation returns Mycenaean gold ring to Greece

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ATHENS, May 20 (Xinhua) -- A gold sealing ring from the Mycenaean period (1750-1050 B.C.) was returned to Greece by the Nobel Foundation in a ceremony held on Thursday in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, Greece's Ministry of Culture and Sports said here on Friday.

The ring, which depicts a pair of sphinxes, was found in 1927 during excavations led by the Italian Archaeological School in the Mycenaean necropolis of Ialyssos on the island of Rhodes, according to a press release.

During the Italian and German occupation of the island (until the end of World War Two), the ring was stolen from the local archaeological museum along with hundreds of antiquities, mostly coins and jewelry, which still have not been found, the ministry said.

The Mycenaean ring was eventually found in the U.S., where it was bought by the Hungarian-born Nobel laureate biophysicist Georg von Bekesy in the 1950s or 1960s. After his death in 1972, his collection was donated to the Nobel Foundation and many works of art were given to various museums for display.

For decades, the gold ring from Rhodes was on display at Stockholm's Museum of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities.

The ring will now be exhibited again soon at the Archaeological Museum of Rhodes, the ministry said.

"The Nobel Foundation and the Swedish state with their decision to return the Mycenaean ring to Greece, its country of origin, show their respect for modern Greece and the ongoing efforts we are making to combat the illicit trafficking of cultural property," Culture and Sports Minister Lina Mendoni said.

"We are grateful for this gesture. It is an example of ethics and generosity for other institutions and museum organizations around the world," she added. Enditem

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