Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis called on Monday for all the Parthenon's sculptures to be brought back together, as ten marble fragments of sculptures from the 2,500-year-old temple on Acropolis hill were transferred from the National Archaeological Museum of Greece to the Acropolis Museum.
"This journey of return transmits a loud message for the reunification of all parts of this unique monument for humanity," Mitsotakis said during a formal ceremony at the Acropolis Museum.
The fragments returned on Monday include part of the head of a youth. The rest of the sculpture is currently kept in the Louvre Museum in Paris.
Until now, the ten fragments were kept in the storerooms of the National Archaeological Museum.
"This is a first, but very important step in the effort to collect here, at the Acropolis Museum, all the smaller and larger parts of the Parthenon's decorative sculptures that are now scattered in various museums around the world," Mitsotakis said.
The Greek sculptures have been the subject of a dispute between Athens and London for decades. Large parts of the sculptures are currently exhibited at the British Museum in London.
In the early 19th century, while Greece was still under Ottoman Empire rule, half of the sculptures of the Parthenon were removed by the UK diplomat Lord Elgin. For decades, Greeks have repeatedly asked for them to be returned.