British Museum exec calls for ‘Parthenon partnership’ with Greece

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The Parthenon Marbles could be returned to Greece from the United Kingdom through a new “Parthenon partnership,” the Deputy Director of the British Museum said in a recent interview.

Speaking with the Sunday Times Culture magazine, Dr Jonathan Williams said the British Museum wanted to “change the temperature of the debate” around the marbles.

“What we are calling for is an active ‘Parthenon partnership’ with our friends and colleagues in Greece,” Dr Williams said.

“I firmly believe there is space for a really dynamic and positive conversation within which new ways of working together can be found.”

The British Museum has not said it will hand the sculptures back, but Dr Williams said all sides needed to “find a way forward around cultural exchange of a level, intensity and dynamism which has not been conceived hitherto.”

The Parthenon Marbles in the British Museum. Photo: Definitely Greece.

“There are many wonderful things we’d be delighted to borrow and lend. It is what we do,” he added.

The statements are similar to those made by the Chair of the British Museum, George Osbourne, in June.

They come at a time when Greece has ramped up its demand for the Parthenon Marbles to be returned to Athens on many occasions. The Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, has even offered to loan some of his country’s other treasures to the British Museum in exchange.

The Parthenon Marbles have long been a source of friction between Greek governments and the Museum, where they have been on display since 1816 after they were ripped off the Parthenon by Lord Elgin.

READ MORE: New British Museum director hints at lending the Parthenon Marbles to Greece.

Source: The Guardian.

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