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Poll: More Britons in Favor of Returning Parthenon Marbles to Greece

The Parthenon Sculptures. Photo source: The British Museum

The Parthenon Marbles belong to Greece and should be returned to their rightful owners, said 59 percent of UK residents in the latest poll on the thorny issue.

Asked “where do you believe the Parthenon Marbles belong,” more than half of those polled said “Greece” in a survey carried out this week on a sample of 7,717 UK residents by Britain’s YouGov.

A total of 18 percent said the 2,500-year-old Greek art works belong to the UK, and 22 percent said they didn’t know.

Nearly half (49 percent) of Conservative Party voters also said the ancient sculptures currently held by the  British Museum belong to Greece.

“The relationship between Greece and the UK is strong. Let’s strengthen it further. It’s time to do the right thing and reunite the Parthenon Sculptures in Athens. A move backed by the British people,” said Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Wednesday via his twitter account in response to the findings.

Earlier this week in an article published in The Mail on Sunday, Mitsotakis appealed to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s love for the classics and urged him to “seize the moment and make this generation the one that finally reunites the Parthenon Sculptures”.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson with Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis during their recent meeting in London. Photo source: @10DowningStreet

The British Museum is facing increasing pressure not only by Greece, and groups committed to the cause, but also by the United Nations General Assembly, the US congress and UNESCO, which has called for a “mutually acceptable solution” to the issue, recognizing the historical, cultural, legal and ethical dimensions involved.

Also among them, the British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles (BCRPM). Janet Suzman, chair of the committee wrote in Kathimerini: “The time has come for the British and their fabulous museum to return what was sneakily taken from an occupied country two centuries ago. The behavior of Elgin and his henchmen is not divulged to the public who come to admire these figures; the BM avers they were “legally acquired” and leaves it at that.”

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