Min­istry de­nies Parthenon re­port

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

The Min­istry of Cul­ture and Sports has de­nied a re­port pub­lished in Bri­tain’s In­de­pen­dent news­pa­per yes­ter­day that it had called for the re­turn of the Parthenon Mar­bles, also known as the El­gin Mar­bles, from the Bri­tish Mu­seum as a sym­bolic ges­ture against anti-demo­cratic forces that seek “the dis­so­lu­tion of Europe.”

In a state­ment, the min­istry said that it is in­deed con­sid­er­ing the prospect of co­op­er­a­tion with the Bri­tish Mu­seum, but flatly dis­missed the re­port in the In­de­pen­dent.

“Un­til now, the po­lit­i­cal lead­er­ship of the min­istry has not made any of­fi­cial or un­of­fi­cial pro­posal on this pro­ce­dure [men­tioned in the pa­per],” the state­ment read, adding that there has been a “sys­tem­atic ef­fort to restart the di­a­logue to re­unite the sculp­tures with a new strat­egy that is not premised on a le­gal pur­suit.”

Last year, Greece had de­cided against pur­su­ing le­gal ac­tion against the UK, opt­ing in­stead to restart diplomatic ef­forts to re­trieve the sculp­tures, of­fer­ing in ex­change to loan an­cient Greek ar­ti­facts to Bri­tish in­sti­tu­tions.

In its re­port, the pa­per quoted Cul­ture Min­is­ter Ly­dia Ko­nior­dou as say­ing that the re­uni­fi­ca­tion of the Parthenon Mar­bles would “high­light the fight against the forces that un­der­mine the val­ues and foun­da­tions of the Euro­pean case against those seek­ing the dis­so­lu­tion of Eu- rope.” The Parthenon mon­u­ment, she said, rep­re­sents a sym­bol of Western civ­i­liza­tion.

The ar­ti­cle also car­ried quotes by pro­fes­sor Louis Go­dart, chair­man of the In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion for the Re­uni­fi­ca­tion of the Parthenon Sculp­tures (IARPS), who de­nied speak­ing to the pa­per, say­ing that the re­porter made up his quotes.

“As IARPS pres­i­dent I never spoke to any jour­nal­ist and didn’t know any­thing about the ar­ti­cle,” he said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Greece

© PressReader. All rights reserved.