British Prime Minister David Cameron has ruled out the return of the so-called Elgin marbles to Greece.
Speaking from India, where he is on an official visit, on Thursday the Tory leader turned down requests for the return of the Koh-i-noor diamond to Britain’s former colony saying he did not believe in “returnism.”
“It is the same question with the Elgin marbles,” Cameron said, referring to the classical Greek marble sculptures currently on display at the British Museum in London.
Greece has long campaigned for the marbles, which are part of the Parthenon temple on the Acropolis and which were removed by Lord Elgin during Ottoman rule, to be returned to their rightful place.
“The right answer is for the British Museum and other cultural institutions to do exactly what they do, which is to link up with other institutions around the world to make sure that the things which we have and look after so well are properly shared with people around the world,” Cameron said.
The Koh-i-noor diamond is set in the crown of the late Queen Mother and is on display with the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London. It was presented to Queen Victoria in 1850 under the Empire's rule. India has made repeated requests for its return.