Parthenon Marbles: Matter sees light at UK’s House of Commons on Mon.
Greece has called on the British government to stop stonewalling the return of the Parthenon Marbles despite a request for negotiations from the United Nations. The stance shown by the U.K. has been described as “clinging on to stolen booty for dear life itself” rather than return the sculptures to their rightful home, a country that is on the brink of economic collapse.
A motion calling for the UK to reply to Unesco and move to return the marbles is to be filed in the House of Commons on Monday. Failure to respond by the deadline at the end of March could prompt Greece to take legal action for the return of the Parthenon Marbles in the European Court of Human Rights. A team of lawyers that include Amal Clooney are preparing a 300-page document setting out Greece’s options on the matter. Lawyers believe that there is a 75-80% chance of successfully winning the rights to the marbles that are regarded by some as the finest works of art in history.
The sculptures were forcefully removed by Lord Elgin in controversial circumstances 200 years ago when Greece was under the ruleo f the Ottoman Empire.
Greek Antiquities Director of the Culture Ministry, Dr. Elena Korka told the Independent of the significance of the reunification of “these exceptional, outstanding and most important sculptures which belong as an integral part of a unique symbolic monument for the whole world.”
“This is the essence of it, making something which exists today as whole as it can be… this is what the public wants, every poll shows it. It’s such an important issue. Even if Greece didn’t ask for it, the whole world would,” she said.
She told the Independent that the return of the sculptures would be a day of “true joy” for both the monument as well as for the gesture of co-operation, boosting morale in cash-strapped Greece.