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Greece Not Preparing For Legal Action To Repatriate Parthenon Marbles

The renowned Caryatids in the Acropolis Museum. The figures were originally six but one was removed by Lord Elgin in the early 19th century and is now in the British Museum in London. The pedestal for the Caryatid removed to London (second from the left on the front) remains empty.

The renowned Caryatids in the Acropolis Museum. The figures were originally six but one was removed by Lord Elgin in the early 19th century and is now in the British Museum in London. The pedestal for the Caryatid removed to London (second from the left on the front) remains empty.

The Greek Government has no plans for the time being to launch legal action against Britain to regain the Parthenon Marbles, Culture Minister Kostas Tasoulas said at a recent press conference held at the Acropolis Museum.

A caryatid from the Erechtheion, stands alone, displayed at the British Museum.

The “missing Caryatid” from the Erechtheion, stands alone, displayed at the British Museum.

The culture minister said that the government would first “exhaust” all possibilities with UNESCO who announced it would mediate in the cultural dispute between Greece and Britain.

The press conference was held on 15 October on the sidelines of the visit of a team of international lawyers, who came to Greece to meet government officials, including Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, and advise on the country’s quest for the return of the Parthenon sculptures  to Athens. Lawyers Geoffrey Robertson QC and Amal Alamuddin Clooney from London-based “Doughty Street Chambers” legal firm and Noman Palmer, a leading QC specialising in cultural property law, were in Athens during 13 and 16 October.

According to the Greek press, not much information was revealed at the press conference in regards to the meetings that took place between the government and the three lawyers.

The three eminent lawyers agreed that the case of the Parthenon marbles is unique in the world and carries special significance.

On her part, Amal Alamuddin Clooney, a human rights lawyer and wife of American actor George Clooney, said that Greece had “just cause” in seeking the return of the Parthenon Marbles from the British Museum.

During the press confernce, a Greek journalist asked whether if the government was planning to “hire” the three lawyers. The culture minister said that no financial arrangement had been made and that they visited Athens to take part in an “exploratory meeting.”

In a seperate statement, Mr. Tasoulas had said that Greece welcomes every suggestion, every idea and every support for the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece. “Especially when it comes from international personalities,” he said.

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  1. John Areiter Reply

    It’s interesting how the Greek government and Greek people long for the return of the Elgin Marbles.
    Virtually all of the great bronze works of the Greek master sculptors were lost over the millennia and not preserved by the Greeks. Why was that? were they melted to use the bronze for other uses? The Romans created copies of those works and many remain as they were protected and loved by the Italians. Why was this not the case with the Greeks? In summary the world should be grateful that Lord Elgin protected these great works by bringing them to Great Britain.

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