Greek President Prokopios Pavlopoulos on Tuesday reiterated calls for the return of the Parthenon Marbles during a meeting at the Presidential Mansion in Athens with the president of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights advocacy group, Kerry Kennedy, and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Marianna Vardinoyannis.
Thanking Kennedy for her support of Greece's efforts for the return of the ancient sculptures from the British Museum in London, Pavlopoulos said she is defending “a just cause that concerns not just Greece but our very culture, as the Parthenon is widely acknowledged as the cradle of our western civilization.”
“This is the reason why it is a great cause of sorrow – and even frustration – that the authorities in Great Britain insist on covering up the crime of theft committed by Elgin and to tamper with historic truth, without the required respect for our civilization and its symbols,” Pavlopoulos was quoted by the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA-MPA) as saying.
“It is easy to blame Lord Elgin but he has been gone for awhile. This is an ongoing and perpetual crime, which is being perpetuated by the British government. It is hard for the specific democracy to continue to claim it is liberal while it continues to commit and perpetuate such a crime against Greece,” the ANA-MPA quoted Kennedy as saying.
Vardinoyannis also highlighted the fact that Kennedy had volunteered to talk about the return of the Marbles on her own initiative and to defend Greece's positions for their return during her travels around the world, the ANA-MPA said.