Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said he sensed ‘progress’ was being made on the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece, during his visit to the UK earlier this week and following a meeting with King Charles III.
Mitsotakis was in Britain invited to speak at London School of Economics’ Hellenic Observatory marking the 25th anniversary since its foundation. During his discussion with LSE Hellenic Observatory Director Kevin Featherstone, the Greek PM expressed his optimism that steps were being made for the repatriation of the ancient Greek art works currently on display at the British Museum and that reaching a win-win solution was a possibility.
He refrained from revealing the topics discussed with King Charles but said that the British support the return of the Greek marbles to their homeland.
“We have seen progress,” he said, adding that he sensed a “momentum”.
Earlier this summer, the British Museum made a small step forward proposing an “active Parthenon partnership” with Greece on the issue of the repatriation of the Parthenon Marbles.
In an interview to the Sunday Times, the British Museum’s deputy director, Jonathan Williams, said the institution was hoping to “change the temperature of the debate” and that he firmly believed there was “space for a really dynamic and positive conversation within which new ways of working together can be found”.
Earlier this year, UNESCO confirmed that the UK was ready to sit at the table with Greece to discuss the return of the sculptures, which were illegally removed from the Parthenon by Lord Elgin in the 1800s and sold to the British Museum.
The 2,500-year-old marble sculptures have been the subject of dispute for over three decades, with Greece and the international community repeatedly calling on the British Museum to return them to their place of origin.