Greece calls again for return of Parthenon Marbles

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Greece’s Culture Minister, Lina Mendoni, has reiterated a long-standing request for the British Museum to return the Parthenon Marbles, ahead of the 11th anniversary of the Acropolis Museum which was purpose-built to house the antiquities.

“It is time for the British Museum to reconsider its stance ahead of the Acropolis Museum’s next birthday, which is on June 20,” Mendoni told private broadcaster Star TV on Saturday.

“Does it want to be a museum that meets and will continue to meet modern requirements and speak to the soul of the people, or will it remain a colonial museum which intends to hold treasures of world cultural heritage that do not belong to it?”

Greece’s Culture Minister, Lina Mendoni (left), visited the Acropolis when it reopened on May 18, 2020. Source: AFP.

The minister said that the reopening of archaeological sites last week was an opportunity for the international committees to reiterate their long-standing request, and that of the Greek government’s, for their return.

“The Parthenon Marbles are a product of theft and therefore, Greece will never recognise ownership and possession by the British Museum,” Mendoni said.

READ MORE: Acropolis reopens along with 200 other Greek archaeological sites.

The ancient friezes, which include depictions of battles between mythical ancient Greeks and centaurs, were taken by British diplomat Lord Elgin in the early 19th century and are now on display at the British Museum in London.

Greece has been campaigning for three decades for their return, arguing that the Ottoman Empire was an occupying force and any permission granted to Lord Elgin during its time is not valid.

However, the British Museum continues to refuse to return the Parthenon Marbles.

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