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UNESCO ups pressure for return of Parthenon sculptures, minister says

unesco-ups-pressure-for-return-of-parthenon-sculptures-minister-says

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has taken an important step further from a recommendation by passing a decision urging the return of the Parthenon sculptures from the British Museum, Greece’s culture minister said on Thursday.

“Together with the recommendation that was issued – referring to the poor conditions of exposure that the sculptures are kept in at the British Museum – Greece also achieved a decision from the Intergovernmental Committee that pertains specifically to the return of the Parthenon sculptures,” Lina Mendoni said a day after the 22nd session of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Committee for Promoting the Return of Cultural Property (ICPRCP) ended in Paris.

“The committee urgently calls on the United Kingdom to review is position and enter into a discussion with Greece, recognizing that the issue is of an intergovernmental nature – in contrast to claims from the British side that it is a matter for the British Museum – and mainly that Greece has a valid and legal claim to demand the return of the sculptures to their place of birth,” Mendoni added, describing the decision as a “particularly significant development.”

Greece’s petition to have the splendid marble sculptures reunited with the other surviving artifacts from the ancient citadel at the Acropolis Museum has gained additional urgency in the wake of reports of water leaks and mold at the gallery where they are kept in the British Museum.