A spectacular golden Macedonian wreath dated to the 4th century BC finally went on display at the Thessaloniki Archaeological Museum on Friday after being returned to the country by the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles last March.
The wreath was returned after lengthy efforts by the Greek state to prove that the stunning item was illegally excavated in the country and illicitly taken abroad for sale.
Speaking at the northern Greece port city's museum, Greek Culture Minister Mihalis Liapis reiterated that the return of all illegally excavated and exported ancient Greek artifacts is a priority for his ministry, regardless of whether the items are in the possession of foreign museums or private art collectors.
The exquisite artifact depicts a floral crown made of gold foil. It was probably made after the death of Alexander the Great and worn on ceremonial occasions.
Experts believe it was buried with the remains of its owner in modern-day northern Greece. Similar wreaths have been discovered in excavations throughout the central Macedonia province and in the tomb of Phillip II at the archaeological site of Vergina -- the burial site of ancient Macedonian kings -- which lies west of Thessaloniki.