Greece Renews Efforts to Bring Back the Parthenon Marbles
A new advisory committee tasked with bringing the Parthenon Marbles, currently on show at the British Museum, back to Greece has been set up, the Greek Culture Ministry announced recently.
Lawyer and head of the Melina Mercouri Foundation, Christoforos Argyropoulos has been named president of the Hellenic Advisory Committee for the Parthenon Sculptures. Other members include Dimitrios Pantermalis, Acropolis Museum president and Artemis Papathanasiou, senior legal adviser at the foreign ministry.
According to Culture Minister Lina Mendoni, Greece is re-launching efforts to reunite the Marbles in collaboration with international committees dedicated to the cause.
In this direction, Mendoni announced that Greece would be hosting an international meeting next year bringing all the Committees together for the better coordination and launch of its new campaign.
It should be reminded that UNESCO has offered to mediate for the return of the 2,500-year-old sculptures, which was however turned down by the British Museum. Meanwhile, the United Nations General Assembly – with the support of 74 countries – has also supported Greece’s claim, accepting its proposal for the return of cultural property unlawfully removed as part of ongoing efforts to protect the world’s cultural heritage.
Greece has repeatedly called on the British Museum to return the 2,500-year-old marble sculptures that once adorned the Parthenon and have been the subject of dispute since they were illegally removed and sold by Lord Elgin to the British Museum in 1817.
They could easily be returned without interrupting any research or discovery work in any country where they are being held. However, the return should be from ALL current holders, including the french.