Greek MEP Anna-Maria Assimakopoulou appealed to her fellow lawmakers at the European Parliament on Tuesday to support Greece’s claim for the return of the Parthenon Sculptures from the British Museum in London.
“We have fought many battles together to defend the principles and values of the European Union, European culture and democracy… The Acropolis is a universal symbol of democracy,” the lawmaker with the governing New Democracy party told a session of the European Parliament’s plenary in Strasbourg.
Assimakopoulou went on to note that Greece’s demand for the reunification of the marble sculptures that once graced its citadel is “gaining new momentum in British and international public opinion” since the return of a fragment of the Parthenon frieze from the Antonino Salinas Archaeological Museum in Sicily, Italy, at the start of the year.
“I implore you dear colleagues to join us in this just battle for this prominent symbol of European culture and democracy,” she said.
About half the surviving 5th century BC sculptures that decorated the Parthenon temple on the Acropolis are in the British Museum in London, which has long resisted Greek appeals for their return.