Greek Culture Minister Lina Mendoni has accused the British Museum of being “governed by outdated, colonialist views” in its continued refusal to return the Parthenon sculptures removed from the splendid ancient citadel by the UK’s Lord Elgin in the early 19th century.
“It is sad that one of the world’s largest and most important museums is still governed by outdated, colonialist views,” Mendoni said in an interview with the weekend edition of Ta Nea.
Her comments came on the 11th anniversary of the state-of-the-art Acropolis Museum, which was purpose-built to house the marble sculptures and other exhibits from the Acropolis in response to claims from the British Museum that Greece did not have a suitable space in which to showcase the artifacts.
“Since September 2003 when construction work began on the Acropolis Museum, Greece has systematically demanded the return of the sculptures on display in the British Museum because they are the product of theft,” Mendoni said.
“The current Greek government – like any Greek government – is not going to stop claiming the stolen sculptures which the British Museum, contrary to any moral principle, continues to hold illegally,” she added.