‘Time to close’ Parthenon marbles row: Acropolis museum director

ATHENS (AFP) – The new director of the Acropolis Museum has referred to as for an finish to the long-running dispute for the return of the Parthenon marbles to Greece, noting that London’s Parliament may rule on the problem.

“It’s time for the matter to be closed,” Professor Nikos Stampolidis informed AFP in an interview.

“We are not talking about just any work of art far from its place of origin, (but of) part of an architectural monument that is a symbol of global culture,” he mentioned.

“An act of the English Parliament would be enough to return the friezes to Greece,” he mentioned, referring to the British Parliament in Westminster.

The Parthenon temple was constructed within the fifth century BCE on the Acropolis to honour Athena, the patron goddess of Athens.

In the early 1800s, workmen stripped whole friezes from the monument on the orders of the British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, Lord Elgin.

Lord Elgin offered the marbles to the British authorities, which in 1817 handed them on to the British Museum, the place they continue to be certainly one of its most prized reveals.

Athens insists the sculptures have been stolen.

But successive Greek governments and officers – together with the late Melina Mercouri, the celebrated actress who additionally served as tradition minister – have failed to make headway within the dispute.

‘Legally acquired’

In March 2021, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson informed the Greek each day Ta Nea that he understood the “strength of feeling of the Greek people” on the problem.

But repeating Britain’s longstanding place, he insisted that the sculptures “were legally acquired by Lord Elgin, in accordance with the laws in force at the time”.

Last November, after a go to to London for talks with Mr Johnson, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis mentioned Greece may mortgage the British Museum different “iconic artefacts” in return for the marbles.

He additionally insisted that Athens wouldn’t be emboldened to ask for the return of extra objects.

“We believe the marbles are a special case, a one-off,” Mr Mitsotakis mentioned.

The Acropolis museum is “the one place on earth where you can properly admire the marbles in context, as you stand in front of 2,500 years of history and look across the panoramic vista towards the temple above”, Mr Mitsotakis wrote within the Daily Mail in November.

In January, the Times, a staunch supporter of the British Museum on the problem, modified its place.

“Time and circumstances are changing. The sculptures belong in Athens. They must now return there,” the each day mentioned.

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