Return of Parthenon Marbles ‘a just cause’

Human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin Clooney, who is married to American actor George, on Wednesday said that Greece had “just cause” in seeking the return of the Parthenon Marbles from the British Museum, speaking of an “injustice that has persisted for too long.”

Addressing a press conference at the Acropolis Museum with the other members of a legal team that is advising the Greek government on how to secure the return of the classical treasures, Clooney said they hoped for an amicable settlement that would allow the Marbles to be viewed, reunited, in their original home.

“A horseman has his head in Athens and his body in London. The Greek god Poseidon has his torso separated between Greece and the UK,” she said.

“This means nobody can celebrate the Marbles united in the place that they come from.”

Culture Minister Costas Tasoulas clarified that Greece was not yet preparing for legal action to regain the Marbles. “We have not decided to go to trial,” he told the press conference, noting that Greek authorities would first “exhaust the procedure with UNESCO,” which earlier this month said it would mediate in the dispute between Greece and the United Kingdom. Tasoulas said the “three eminent lawyers” of the London-based Doughty Street Chambers would be advising the government along with Greek legal experts.

Geoffrey Robertson, a veteran lawyer leading the British delegation to Athens with a track record in high-profile cases, said that if mediation did not work, “there are legal opportunities and we should be aware that there are international courts.”

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