Back in the nineteen century, when Greece was occupied by Turks, an English diplomat stole – there is really no other word for it – a group of millenary statues from the ruins of the Parthenon temple in Athens.
Two centuries later, the Greek demands for the return of the invaluable cultural treasures has come to the forefront of the relationship between the two European nations, with London scrambling to keep the sculptures.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has repeated his calls for the British Museum to return the Parthenon Sculptures, 2 months after a diplomatic spat with Britain over the 2,500-year-old pieces.
Mitsotakis said his government is in contact the British Museum about a deal to bring the treasures back to the Acropolis Museum, in the heart of the Greek capital.
“‘Let me be clear, we will insist on their reunification for many reasons. But one, in my mind, is the most important: Only by being seen together, in situ, in the shadow of the Acropolis, can we truly appreciate their immense cultural importance’.
Athens has repeatedly called on the British Museum to permanently return the 2,500-year-old sculptures – known in Britain as the Elgin Marbles – that British diplomat Lord Elgin removed from the Parthenon temple in 1806, during a period when Greece was under Ottoman Turkish rule.”
The merry old days when the English went around the world raping and pillaging with impunity are over, and the geopolitical situation of our days would suggest that the treasures be returned.
But it won’t be easy.
The sculptures in the British Museum form about half of the 500-plus feet frieze that adorned the Parthenon. Only about 160 feet of artwork are in the Acropolis Museum.
“In November, during an interview with the BBC in London, Mitsotakis compared the separation of the sculptures to cutting the Mona Lisa in half, a characterization rejected by the British government.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak later cancelled a planned meeting with Mitsotakis accusing him of breaking a promise not to use his trip as an opportunity to advocate for the return of the sculptures.”
While PM Sunak may have thought he was championing British rights, in fact he was harshly criticized by many – including the British Museum Director who said he was having a ‘hissy fit’.
Even King Charles III – whose father Philip was Greek – wore a tie with Greece banners to lend his support to the cause.
Aware of the difficulties, Greece is willing to loan antiquities to the British Museum ‘in return for being able to temporarily exhibit the sculptures in Athens’.
The British Museum, for his part, has said it would indeed consider loaning the sculptures to Greece – but only if it acknowledged the British Museum’s ownership of the sculptures.
Just between us: if these statues ever return to Athens, it’s a safe bet that the Greeks will never give it back. In fact, why would they?
The post The Controversy Over the Looted Parthenon Sculptures Is Ongoing – Greeks Negotiate ‘Lease’ of the Treasure by the British Museum for an Exhibition in Athens appeared first on The Gateway Pundit.