The Valencian Government has again said that the iconic Lady of Elche statue should return on a permanent basis to Elche.

Regional culture secretary Albert Girona says that the Culture Ministry in Madrid “seems to have no interest in moving it back to Elche”.

The Lady is currently in the National Archaeological Museum in Madrid, and was discovered in 1897 at L’Alcúdia, an archaeological site on a private estate two kilometres south of Elche.

It is generally known as an Iberian artefact from the 4th century BC, although the artisanship suggests strong Hellenistic influences.

In 2006, the Lady of Elche returned to the city for a few months to celebrate the inauguration of the local Archaeological Museum, and has been the subject of a long-running campaign for it to return on a permanent basis.

The Elche museum is to be converted into an Iberian Art Museum, with the aim of housing the Lady sometime in the future.

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