Brexit could see re­turn of Parthenon sculp­tures

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

The time to re­turn the Parthenon Mar­ble to Greece is near, ac­cord­ing to Alexis Mantheakis, chair­man of the In­ter­na­tional Parthenon Sculp­tures Ac­tion Com­mit­tee.

Mantheakis has told Kathimerini the fact that the fi­nal agree­ment for Brexit will have to be passed through Euro­pean Union na­tional par­lia­ments gives Athens added lever­age in its bid to repa­tri­ate the sculp­tures, 200 years af­ter they were hacked off the Parthenon tem­ple on the or­ders of Lord El­gin. They ended up in the Bri­tish Mu­seum, which in­sists that they were legally bought from the Ot­toman Em­pire, which ruled the area at the time.

“The English will need to re­ceive ap­proval from the Greek Par­lia­ment for some­thing they want,” he said, adding that it is, per­haps, the first time that Greece has the diplo­matic means to en­force their re­turn. This shouldn’t harm Bri­tain, he added, as pub­lic opin­ion has backed the Greek re­quest for many years.

Ac­cord­ing to Bri­tish me­dia re­ports, the call for the re­turn of the mar­bles as part of Brexit has also been raised by Ste­lios Kouloglou, a mem­ber of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment for the rul­ing SYRIZA party.

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