Met Meets Greece’s Request; Returns Ancient Toilet Seats
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, having recently agreed to return one of the finest vases in its collection from the Classical Age of Ancient Greece, has also consented to return the collected toilet seats from the ancient Cretan port city of Ephesus.
The decision has come as a welcome relief to the Greek tourist board, whose embarrassed guides annually answer the same question that tourists ask approximately a thousand times a day. The innocent travelers behold the long cement benches with curious holes that grace an area of their walking tour.
Philippe de Montebello, Director of the Metropolitan Museum, stated, I felt returning the priceless vase was the correct step for us to take. It was a pirated item, and I dress far too nattily to be imagined with a piratical patch over one eye. As far as the return of the toilet seats is concerned, we had kept them in storage, because space at the Met is limited, particularly in regard to items I personally prefer not to put on display. So, hearing about the plight of the tour guides, I decided that shipping these less-than-priceless thrones back to Greece is the thoughtful thing to do.
Tour guides cheered the decision. It remains to be determined if the Greek government will consent to put one on display at Ephesus or will, as the Met did, insist on keeping them private.