The campaign to return the sculptures to Athens has been going on since 1983, and for almost 40 years now the topic has been raised by Greece in a number of international forums, as well as in bilateral relations with London
British Prime Minister Liz Truss gave a negative answer to a question about the possibility of returning the sculptural friezes from the Parthenon, which are kept in the British Museum, back to Greece, the Greek Sky TV reported in a correspondence.
During an interview on Tuesday with the TV channel GB News (GB News), Truss was asked if she thought that the so-called “Elgin Marbles” are to be returned by the British Museum to Greece. Truss replied curtly, “I don’t support that.”
Earlier this month, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told the British Sunday Times that he would raise the issue of the Parthenon sculptures with Truss, who is likely to meet in London at the end of November.
The sculptures of the Parthenon, a famous architectural monument from the 5th century BC. of the Acropolis in the Greek capital, which today are in the British Museum, were removed from the temple at the beginning of the 19th century by the British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, Lord Elgin, which is why they are often called the “Elgin Marbles”.
According to Elgin’s statements, he took the works out of Athens, which was then under Ottoman rule, by virtue of a Sultan’s firman, which, however, has not been found so far.
In 1816, the British Parliament bought the reliefs from Elgin and gave them to the British Museum, where they are still today.
It is estimated that the “Elgin Marbles” represent about 30 percent of the surviving sculptural decoration of the Parthenon. Another 30 percent are still in Athens to this day, and the remaining 40 percent are scattered in numerous other museums in Europe – in the Vatican, in the Louvre in Paris, in Copenhagen, Vienna, Munich, etc.
Greece has been campaigning to return the sculptures to Athens since 1983. Then the issue was raised by the Minister of Culture, Melina Mercouri, and for almost 40 years now, the topic has been raised by Greece in a number of international forums, as well as in bilateral relations with London.
Photo: The sculptural friezes of the Parthenon, housed in the British Museum / Getty Images.