Greece’s Culture Minister Lydia Koniordou has asked Britain open negotiations over the repatriation of the Parthenon Marbles, the set of classical sculptures held in the British Museum that were stripped from the Parthenon by a British diplomat in the 1800s.
Koniordou has sent an official letter to her counterpart in England, inviting him to Greece to open discussions about the sculptures’ return to Athens, where a spot has been reserved for them at the Acropolis Museum.
The Greek Ministry of Culture shared the news on their official website.
The marble statues, known also by many as the “Elgin Marbles” after the man who took them from Greece and brought to England, once adorned the perimeter of the Parthenon in Athens.
The return of the statues is one of the longest running cultural heritage disputes on the planet, with their removal from Athens being denounced by some almost immediately in the 1800s.
The works were removed by a Scottish nobleman named Thomas Bruce, the 7th Earl of Elgin in the early 19th century when Athens was under Turkish rule. He claimed he had authority from the Ottomans, who were the rulers of Greece at the time.
A British government spokesperson said: “The Parthenon sculptures are the legal property of the British Museum. They are free of charge to view and are visited by people from all over the world. Decisions relating to their care are taken by the trustees of the British Museum, free from political interference.”
Since you’re here… I have a small favor to ask.
More and more people than ever before are reading The Pappas Post and despite increasing costs to maintain the site and provide you with the quality content that you deserve, I will never “force” you to pay for our website or add a paywall. I believe in the democracy of the internet and want to keep this site and its enriching content free for everyone. But at the same time I’m asking those who frequent the site to chip in and help keep it both high quality— and free. We’ve implemented a “free-will” annual subscription for those who want to support our efforts. I guess it’s fair to call it a philotimo subscription… because you don’t have to do it but it’s really the right thing to do if you love the site and the content we publish. So if you like The Pappas Post and want to help, please consider becoming a “philotimo subscriber”. Click here to subscribe. If you’d rather make a one time donation, we will gladly accept any amount, with appreciation. Click here to donate any amount.