The Greek island of Milos is issuing a formal request to have the Venus de Milo statue, one of the most famous in the world, returned from the Louvre Museum in Paris to its original homeland.
“Our island’s treasures have been looted and we’re finally ready to fight to win them back,” said the island’s mayor Gerasimos Damoulakis in a formal announcement.
The campaign coincides with the 200th anniversary of the statue’s discovery by a farmer on Milos back in 1820.
Better known by locals as Aphrodite of Milos, the statue was found during a renovation on the farmer’s property and later sold to a French naval officer and passed on as a gift to King Louis XVII.
In an interview with The Times, Mr Damoulakis revealed that together with their formal request to the European Union to have the statue returned, that it would be accompanied with a petition expected to have up to 1 million signatures.
“The claim itself isn’t new,” Mr Damoulakis said.
“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.”
According to reports, the Municipality of Milos is also setting out to construct a facility to better showcase the statue for its return.