UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has been told that he should “in his final days before being sacked” arrange the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Athens as he previously advocated, The Independent reports.
This comment was made by Labour Party politician, Lord Campbell-Savours, during a Parliament sitting today.
To make his point, Campbell-Savours highlighted a 1986 article written by Johnson when he was a student at Oxford University, where he called for the ancient sculptures to be repatriated.
“How does the minister respond to Boris Johnson’s earlier, elegant words of wisdom when he wrote in more romantic times: ‘The Elgin marbles should leave this northern whisky-drinking guilt-culture, and be displayed where they belong: in a country of bright sunshine and the landscape of Achilles, the shadowy mountains and the echoing sea’?” Campbell-Savours asked.
“Would it not be a generous act in his final days before being sacked to arrange for their return and we could retain replicas?”
In response, UK Culture Minister, Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay, said: “Fortunately Government policy is not made by the things ministers wrote when we were undergraduates.”
This parliamentary debates comes as Johnson currently battles to retain the Tory Party leadership.
In a meeting with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis last year, Johnson ruled out discussing the Parthenon marbles, saying it was a matter for the British Museum.
This refusal for repatriation comes despite UNESCO stipulating that intergovernmental talks should take place to resolve the long-running dispute.
Source: The Independent.