“Our island’s treasures have been looted and we’re finally ready to fight to win them back,” were the fighting words used by Gerasimos Damoulakis, mayor of the island of Milos, in his announcement about the island’s formal request for the return of the Venus de Milo— known to Greeks as Aphrodite of Milos, one of the most famous statues in the world.
Currently on display in the Louvre in Paris and one of that museum’s most important items, the mayor announced the campaign in an effort to coincide with the 200th anniversary since the statue’s discovery in 1820 on the Greek island.
Damoulakis, according to a story in The Times, announced the effort that will coincide with the municipality’s building of a proper facility to showcase the statue.
The famous statue of the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite, was found by a farmer on the island during a renovation of a wall on his property. It was sold to a French naval officer and presented as a gift to King Louis XVII.
Damoulakis told The Times in an interview that the municipality would present a petition to the European Union that they hope will have 1 million signatures, along with their formal request for the statue’s return.
“The claim itself isn’t new,” Mr Damoulakis told The Times. “There’s not a Greek out there who hasn’t wondered why Greece’s finest piece of antiquity is sitting in France rather than in its birthplace.