FT report details secret meetings between Mitsotakis, British Museum chair

‘Ioannis Kapodistrias: Glory and Solitude’ staged by amateur theater group in 2021-22 season

FT report details secret meetings between Mitsotakis, British Museum chair

The secret meetings between Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and British Museum chair George Osborne as they explore a deal to end the dispute over the Parthenon Marbles are documented in a report published in the Financial Times on Friday.

According to the report, which also includes comments from an interview with Greece’s conservative leader, the two sides have held a series of meetings on the issue at a London hotel since November 2021. 

The arrangement being reportedly discussed would see a proportion of the sculptures sent to Athens on rotation over a set time period, such as 10 years.

However, despite the optimism fueled by the good chemistry between the two men and the timing as western country’s are revisiting their colonial past, the report underscores the enormous legal challenges that the two sides need to navigate in order to end a feud that dates back to the 1800s.

“It would be a big problem for Mitsotakis to accept a ‘loan’ of what he regards as Greek property,” the report says.

The report adds that “talks are also under way on a legal agreement whereby Greece entering into a contract with the British Museum would not force Athens to accept the museum’s ownership of the marbles on principle.”

The article also made reference to the good relationship between Mitsotakis and Osborne, with the latter until recently hardly knowing the former “despite spending a lot of time with Greek politicians during the decade when Europe anxiously contemplated economic crises in Athens.”

“But the two hit it off. Mitsotakis told colleagues afterwards that there was ‘trust and respect,’ while Osborne saw the Greek premier as an effective technocrat, joking to colleagues that Mitsotakis, an Anglophile, was ‘Greece’s Rishi Sunak,’” the paper wrote.

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