Daily Mail

Return Greek antiquitie­s? You’ve lost your marbles!


RETURNING the Elgin Marbles to Greece would ‘deprive the world of one of its great treasures’, Boris Johnson said yesterday.

Former chancellor George Osborne, now chairman of the British Museum, is in talks with Athens officials as part of a ‘cultural exchange’ that could see the 2,500-year-old antiquitie­s returned on a long-term ‘cultural exchange’.

Mr Johnson used a significan­t part of his 30-minute speech to a ‘soft power’ conference in London yesterday to attack the plans.

He said: ‘It is the British Museum’s fantastic concentrat­ion of riches that holds up a mirror to all of humanity and tells the story of the evolution of the human spirit, and so, if you give back the Elgin Marbles to Greece, then you leave a huge gap in that narrative.

‘In trying to please the world, and “correct thinking”, you’ve deprived the world of one of its great treasures, and cut some vital panels from its great pageant of human progress.

‘We can’t send them away any more than we should deport the 14 per cent of Londoners who were born abroad.’

The Marbles were taken by Lord Elgin from the Acropolis of Athens, then part of the Ottoman Empire, at the beginning of the 19th century.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom