Greece will continue to claim the late classical “Dorias” stele that was sold during a Christie’s auction on Wednesday with all available legal means, Culture Ministry circles said following the news about the item.
The sources said the fact that the stele was sold does not preclude its repatriation – an event that has happened many times in the past when evidence emerged questioning its provenance. They said a similar incident took place in 2012, when a marble Byzantine architectural segment from the Temple of the Savior in Messinia was returned to Greece after being sold by the same auction house.
The opposite may also happen, the same circles said; the object could be withdrawn but due to a lack of evidence the auction house requests compensation from the Greek state. “This is why we need to handle similar cases very carefully, as the illegal activity that took place happened a long time ago,” they noted, adding that the Directorate of Documentation has to remain separate from other Ministry sectors because it handles very serious issues.
The late classical “Dorias” stele was sold by the auction house on Wednesday for the sum 75,000 pounds.
The carved marble stele is dated circa 350-325 B.C. and bears the inscription “Dorias [daughter of] Poseidonios.” According to the lot description, it was found in Chalcis on the island of Euboea and recorded in the travel notes of Eduard Schaubert in 1844. The auction house claims the stele was from a private collection in France acquired prior to 1994. Its value was estimated between 28,000-40,000 euros.