British Museum in ‘constructive discussions’ with Greece over Parthenon Marbles

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“Constructive discussions” are underway between The British Museum and Greece about Parthenon Sculptures to be returned back to Athens.

The 2,500 year old marble was removed in the early 19th century by British diplomat Lord Elgin and placed on display in Britain. At the time, Lord Elgin was an ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, which then ruled Greece.

Since their removal, Greece has repeatedly called for the permanent return of the ancient sculptures. Yet Britain has been defiant, saying the sculptures were legally acquired and UK law prevents it from breaking its historical collection.

At current, the British Museum, holds about half of the 160 metre frieze of the Parthenon and it is known as the Elgin Marbles.

Britain’s Daily Telegraph reported on Wednesday that former finance minister George Osborne and the museum’s chairman had drawn up an agreement to allow the Parthenon Sculptures to be returned as part of an exchange deal.

While Greek officials have said discussions are at a preliminary stage, the arrangement is said to be a loan agreement between to the two countries.

“We’ve said publicly, we’re actively seeking a new Parthenon partnership with our friends in Greece and as we enter a new year constructive discussions are ongoing,” the British Museum said in a statement.

A spokesperson for the Greek government said new developments with the British government officials had not occurred recently, but that Greece “will continue to pursue the best possible result, aiming at the reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures.”

Source: Ekathimerini.

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