0286 Stolen and Returned: The Marble Statue of "Philippe" from Samos

  • Alexandra Kankeleit (Author)
    Centrum Modernes Griechenland, FU Berlin

    Alexandra Kankeleit studied classical archaeology, history of art, and history in Frankfurt am Main and in Bonn. Since the 1990s, she has worked as a project manager in various sectors and fields: museums, excavations and archaeological surveys, editorial work, e-business, and tourism. With her German-Greek background, she is particularly interested in the history and culture of Greece. She has also been a research associate at the Center for Modern Greece (CeMoG: Centrum Modernes Griechenland) at the Freie Universität Berlin since 2021. A comprehensive overview of her projects and interests is available at www.kankeleit.de.

Identifiers (Article)


For almost a year, from November 1943 to October 1944, the Greek island of Samos was under German occupation. General Friedrich-Wilhelm Müller, who was responsible for Samos, ruthlessly exploited his position of power and attempted to secretly take the Philippe, a female statue of the so-called Geneleos Group, out of the country. Fortunately, this criminal action and the planned transport of the statue to Trier were prevented by the Kunstschutz of the Wehrmacht. Finally, in 1954, the Philippe was returned from the Athens National Museum to Samos, where it is now exhibited in the archaeological museum of Vathi. The adventure of the Philippe statue sheds light on the situation of the antiquities on Samos during the German occupation. Selected sources will also be used to show how the Kunstschutz officers proceeded in their rescue operations and how they themselves defined their role as part of the German Wehrmacht after the war.


Greece, Samos, Heraion, Geneleos Group, Philippe, Kunstschutz, DAI, German Archaeological Institute