ELCHE council has made a fresh appeal to the Ministry of Culture and the National Archaeological Museum in Madrid to return the ‘Lady of Elche’ bust to the city, on the 125th anniversary of its discovery.
Elche mayor, Carlos Gonzalez, presided over a ceremony on Thursday which demanded the statue’s return.
With the full backing of all political parties, Gonzalez, signed an agreement which was read out by ‘Living Lady’, Neus Almarcha.
The statement said: “We show the unanimous political will of Elche council to demand from the Ministry of Culture and the Government of Spain, the permanent transfer of the bust to our city.”
The Lady of Elche is a polychrome stone bust that was found by chance on August 4,1897 at L’Alcudia, an archaeological site on a private estate just south of Elche.
It’s an Iberian sculpture dating back to the fourth century BC and was bought by the Louvre museum in Paris for 4,000 francs and put on display there.
In 1941, it returned to Spain where it stayed for 30 years in the Prado Museum.
A ministerial order then decreed it should go to the Archaeological Museum in Madrid.
Elche council has campaigned for many years for it to be permanently displayed in its home city but has been constantly rebuffed by the government.