NEWS

Brexit could see return of Parthenon sculptures

TAGS: Archaeology, Diplomacy

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.

Online