ABC speaks with Greek Australians fighting for the return of the Parthenon marbles to Athens

·

Greek Australians are pushing to see the Parthenon Marbles repatriated from the British Museum to Athens. 

Elly Symons is the vice-president of the Australian Parthenon Committee and a founder of the Acropolis Research Group.

The Australian-born archaeologist has spent the last eight years campaigning for the return of the marbles. It’s why she studied archaeology and moved to Athens.

“It’s just a very ugly episode in human history that we can wantonly [sic] destroy something so perfect and so unique, a unique part of humanity,” she says.

George Vardas (left), Elly Symons (right)

George Vardas, vice-president of Australians for the Return of the Parthenon Sculptures, hopes to see the marbles returned to their rightful home in his lifetime. 

“I’m now 66. [Within] 20, 30 years, I’d like to think so,” he says.

“If not, my grandson has just turned three. I’m priming him to take over from his granddad who lost his marbles.”

Human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson has his sights set on the United Nations’ International Court of Justice. 

He says it may be the only way to ever see the marbles repatriated. 

“I’m afraid it has to be a legal strategy,” he says.

“The only way that the marbles will ever come back is to have the judgment of the International Court of Justice.”

Geoffrey Robertson QC (Photo: The Greek Herald)

Robertson contests that the marbles were stolen and says any claims that paperwork legitimised Lord Elgin’s acquirement of the marbles in the early 19th century are false. 

“All Elgin could produce to justify his claim of ownership was a letter that had been written by an official at the port to the Ottoman government to the governor of Athens,” he says.

“It didn’t give him any rights other than to enter [the temple] and [sketch] and to pick up stones on the ground.”

The legality of the British Museum’s claim on the marbles is based on this paperwork but the original document has never been found.

“The Sultan never signed anything,” says Robertson.

“This has been claimed but it’s simply a lie.”

Source: ABC News

Read more: It’s time to sue: David Hill, Chairman of ‘Australians for the Return of the Parthenon Sculptures’

Advertisement

Share:

KEEP UP TO DATE WITH TGH

By subscribing you accept our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Advertisement

Latest News

SYRIZA leader Stefanos Kasselakis visits Palestine to advocate for state recognition

Main opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance leader Stefanos Kasselakis is visiting Palestine from Sunday until Monday, May 26-27.

Panathinaikos BC become European champions for seventh time

Panathinaikos BC has added a seventh European crown to its glorious history after beating Real Madrid in Berlin’s final on Sunday.

Mykonos shop owner reflects on Australia, Greece and crystals

Greek Australian, Apostolos Triantafyllou, 56, has been living in Mykonos for over 30 years now, and running his jewellery store 'Amethyst'.

Niki Louca shares her recipe for chicken pie with mushrooms

Niki Louca from My Greek Kitchen shares her favourite recipe for kotopita with manitaria (chicken pie with mushrooms) with The Greek Herald.

Dr Trakakis to give lecture in Melbourne on the late poet Tasos Leivaditis

Dr Nick Trakakis will give a seminar on Thursday, May 30 at the Greek Centre in Melbourne on the late poet Tasos Leivaditis.

You May Also Like

‘Intellectual disability is neglected’: Ilianna Ginnis on designing for neurodiverse communities

Lighting and signs are two aspects of interior architecture that concern Monash University student and designer Ilianna Ginnis. 

Bill Papas’ business partner launches bid to throw out court case against him

Vince Tesoriero, the business partner of Bill Papas, has launched a bid to have the civil case brought against him by Westpac thrown out.

Peter Katsambanis to fight for Hilarys Legislative Assembly seat

"In all marginal seats, all we can do is give our best, I'm an absolute fighter, I have never given up on anything in my life," Peter Katsambanis said.