The Greek-German Convention for the excavation of Ancient Alti at Olympia

Topographic chart of Ancient Olympia. Dimensions: 34 cm x 27 cm

The Greek Foreign Ministry was informed of Germany’s desire to carry out excavations in Olympia and other regions in the Greek state together with Greece through a letter with an attached summary of the main articles, which were proposed as the base of the agreement. The modifications made by the Greek state are focused on four articles. Article no. 1 clarifies that excavations will be carried out solely in ancient Olympia. Article no. 3 is concerned with the issue of compensation and expropriation.  Article no. 6 declares that ancient finds will be assigned to Germany according to the Greek law. Finally, article no. 7, proclaims that Germany will maintain the exclusive right to receive copies of the finds for the first years after the beginning of the excavation. The agreement was signed on 13th of April 1974.

On February 1881, following the end of the six-year excavation, the German state sent a report to the Greek Foreign Ministry written by Prof. G. Treu. It included a catalog of all the excavation finds and requested the transfer of the multiple ones to Germany, as it was clearly established by the agreement. P. Eustratiadis, Ef. Kastorchis and  K. Mylonas composed the final catalog of the finds which were to be transferred to Germany. The generous donation of A. Syggros for the construction of an archaeological museum in Olympia was approved by a royal decree on 16th December 1879.

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