Greece’s PM compares Parthenon Marbles dispute to ‘cutting the Mona Lisa in half’

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Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis engaged in a conversation on BBC’s Sunday morning political show in London over the weekend.

BBC journalist Laura Kuenssberg welcomed Mitsotakis, focusing on migration issues and the ongoing talks about the reunification of the Parthenon Marbles.

Addressing the migration challenge, Mitsotakis emphasised the need for a strict yet fair policy, aiming to reduce the number of migrant boats departing from Turkey.

While acknowledging the relief felt by residents of Greek islands due to fewer arrivals, he highlighted the accelerated processing of asylum applications.

Responding to questions about a recent shipwreck off Pylos, Mitsotakis stated that the matter is under Greek justice investigation, expressing gratitude for the Coast Guard’s substantial efforts in saving tens of thousands of migrants over the years. He also underscored the significant role of human traffickers in migration tragedies.

Mitsotakis then delved into the Parthenon Sculptures issue, clarifying that it’s not merely a return but a reunification with the complete Parthenon monument in Athens, Greece. He admitted that progress on negotiations with the British Museum is slow.

Drawing a vivid analogy, he likened the situation to dividing Da Vinci’s ‘Mona Lisa,’ suggesting that dispersing such a masterpiece across museums like the British Museum and the Louvre would hinder its full appreciation.

“If I told you [to] cut the Mona Lisa in half… do you think your viewers would appreciate the beauty of the painting?” Mitsotakis said.

Acknowledging the limited progress made by the Greek government on the matter, Mitsotakis expressed patience and optimism about resolving the Parthenon Sculptures dispute within his term.

Currently on a three-day working visit to London, Mitsotakis continues diplomatic efforts to advocate for Greece’s rightful ownership of these cultural artifacts.

Source: Ekathimerini.

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