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German University Returns Ancient Wine Cup to Greece

Friday, November 15, 2019

Germany Greek VaseATHENS, GREECE—According to a report in The Guardian, the rector of Germany’s University of Münster handed over a sixth-century B.C. Greek wine cup decorated with black-figured athletes on a red clay background to the National Archaeological Museum in Athens. Discovered in a tomb in central Greece, the cup was awarded to water carrier Spyros Louis, who won the first modern marathon in 1896. Georgios Kivvadias, director of vase collections for the museum, said there is no record of the vase from that time until it appeared in the collection of archaeologist Werner Peek, who was working at the German Archaeological Institute in Athens. Peek, a known Nazi sympathizer and anti-Semite, entrusted the collection of artifacts to notorious Nazi leader Hermann Göring when he visited Athens in 1934. Göring smuggled the objects out of the country in diplomatic pouches, and Peek recovered them when he returned to Germany in 1937. Peek eventually sold the artifacts to the University of Münster in the late 1980s. The cup will be transferred to the Museum of the History of the Ancient Olympic Games at Olympia sometime next year. To read about the temple of Hera at ancient Olympia, go to "A New View of the Birthplace of the Olympics."

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