UK government rules out law change for return of Parthenon Marbles to Greece

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The United Kingdom’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has ruled out changing a law that could prevent the British Museum from returning the Parthenon Marbles to Greece, The Guardian has reported.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesperson said there were no plans to amend legislation under which a museum can dispose of objects within its collection only in very limited circumstances.

“Our position on this hasn’t changed. Decisions relating to the care and management of the collections are a matter for the museum and its trustees,” the spokesman said.

“The Parthenon sculptures are legally owned by the trustees and operationally independent of the government.”

The Parthenon Marbles have been housed in the British Museum since the early 19th century after they were stolen and ripped off the Parthenon at the Acropolis in Athens by Lord Elgin.

The Parthenon Marbles.

Greek Minister of State, Giorgos Gerapetritis, confirmed to The Guardian on Monday that the Greek government has had preliminary talks with the museum recently in an attempt to return the marbles to Greece.

Revelations about the negotiations were first reported on Saturday by the Greek newspaper Ta Nea, which said that officials including the Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, had met George Osborne, the Chair of the British Museum, in a five-star London hotel as recently as Monday.

While the British Museum didn’t deny that talks have taken place, a spokesman refused to discuss the specifics of the Ta Nea story.

The museum said it was prepared to “talk to anyone, including the Greek government” about a new Parthenon “partnership.”

Source: The Guardian.

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