January 13, 2022
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Greece to renew pressure on UK to restore ancient sculptures

By on November 15, 2021 0



ATHENS, Greece (AP) – Greece renews its demand for the return of the ancient sculptures removed from the Parthenon of the Acropolis of Athens more than 200 years ago from the British Museum, a government official said on Monday.

Giannis Oikonomou, a government spokesman, told reporters the issue would be raised at a meeting scheduled in London on Tuesday between British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Greek counterpart Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

The marbles – 17 figures and part of a frieze that decorated the 2,500-year-old Acropolis monument – were taken away by Lord Elgin, the British Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, in the early 19th century. Britain maintains that Elgin acquired the sculptures legally when Greece was ruled by the Ottomans.

“The obligation to return the Parthenon sculptures rests entirely with the UK government,” Oikonomou said. He added that Greece’s demand for government-to-government talks on the issue was supported by the United Nations cultural agency, UNESCO.

Greece said the new Acropolis Museum which opened in 2009 would be used to display the sculptures if returned.


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