BM chief invited to see Acropolis and repent

In what appeared to be more an attempt at one-upmanship than an argument for the return to Athens of the British Museum’s Elgin Collection of sculptures from the Parthenon, yesterday Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos said the London museum director should visit the Acropolis «to find the measure of things.» This followed BM chief Neil MacGregor’s contention, in the Sunday Telegraph, that the 5th century BC works should never return to Greece. MacGregor also said he had broken off talks with a British lobby group seeking the Marbles’ return to Greece. «After all Mr MacGregor said in such a flat manner, I invite him to Greece to visit the Parthenon on the Acropolis,» Venizelos said. «I am sure that will help him find the measure of things.» He said the tone of MacGregor’s interview was at odds with the UK government’s tone.