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Nobel Foundation returns ancient gold ring to Greece

Published : 20 May 2022 09:23 PM | Updated : 21 May 2022 04:12 PM

Greece's culture ministry on Friday said the Nobel Foundation in Sweden had returned an ancient gold ring stolen from the island of Rhodes during World War II.

The Mycenaean signet ring, marked with a pair of winged sphinxes, was  formally returned at a ceremony in Stockholm on Thursday, the ministry said.

It had been found in Rhodes during a 1927 excavation at a Mycenaean  necropolis by the Italian School of Archaeology, at a time when the island  was under Italian control. The ring was stolen during World War II from the local 

archaeological museum  alongside other antiquities that have yet to be recovered, the ministry said  in a statement.

It eventually surfaced in the United States, purchased by Hungarian Nobel  prize-winning biophysicist Georg von B‚k‚sy, whose collection was acquired by  the Nobel Foundation following his death in 1972.

The ring was kept at the Stockholm Museum of Mediterranean and Near Eastern  Antiquities. Its identity was confirmed in 1975 by the museum's then  director, archaeologist and Mycenaean era expert Carl Gustaf Styrenius.

The ring will return to the Rhodes archaeological museum, the ministry said.

The Mycenaean era was the last phase of the Bronze Age in ancient Greece,  spanning the period from approximately 1600 to 1100 BCE.

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