Campaigners advocating the return of the Parthenon Marbles expressed disappointment on Thursday at a statement by Alternate Minister for Culture Nikos Xydakis suggesting that Athens would opt for political and diplomatic routes over a legal one to secure the priceless artifacts.
David Hill, the chairman of the International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures, wrote to Xydakis to suggest that the minister had gone public with his position too early. Hill was in Athens last October with three distinguished British lawyers – Geoffrey Robertson QC, Norman Palmer QC and Amal Alamuddin – to discuss with the previous government what strategy to follow to get the Marbles back. Hill said that Xydakis was expected to receive soon a proposal from the legal team on what steps Greece should take.
Dennis Menos of the International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures said the decision by the new government in Athens had “devastated the Greek position.”
“I’m sorry that this statement was made. [Court action] was always an option and now that has been eliminated,” Menos told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.