June 28, 2022

The brand new director of the Acropolis Museum has referred to as for an finish to the long-running dispute for the return of the Parthenon marbles to Greece, noting that London’s parliament might rule on the problem.

“It is time for the matter to be closed,” Nikos Stampolidis informed AFP in an interview.

“We aren’t speaking about simply any murals removed from its fatherland”, however of “a part of an architectural monument that may be a image of world tradition”, stated Stampolidis.

“An act of the English parliament can be sufficient to return the friezes to Greece,” Stampolidis stated, referring to the British parliament in Westminster.

The Parthenon temple was constructed within the fifth century BCE on the Acropolis to honour Athena, the patron goddess of Athens.

Within the early 1800s, workmen stripped whole friezes from the monument on the orders of the British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, Lord Elgin.

Elgin offered the marbles to the British authorities, which in 1817 handed them on to the British Museum the place they continue to be certainly one of its most prized displays.

Athens insists the sculptures have been stolen.

However successive Greek governments and officers — together with the late Melina Mercouri, the celebrated actress who additionally served as tradition minister — have didn’t make headway within the dispute.

‘It is time for the matter to be closed,’ Nikos Stampolidis, head of the Acropolis Museum, informed AFP Photograph: AFP / Louisa GOULIAMAKI

In March 2021, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson informed the Greek each day Ta Nea that he understood the “power of feeling of the Greek individuals” on the problem.

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However repeating Britain’s longstanding place, he insisted that the sculptures “have been legally acquired by Lord Elgin, in accordance with the legal guidelines in drive on the time”.

Final November, after a go to to London for talks with Johnson, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis stated Greece might mortgage the British Museum different “iconic artefacts” in return for the marbles.

He additionally insisted that Athens wouldn’t be emboldened to ask for the return of further gadgets.

“We imagine the marbles are a particular case, a one-off,” Mitsotakis stated.

The Acropolis museum is “the one place on earth the place you possibly can correctly admire the marbles in context, as you stand in entrance of two,500 years of historical past and look throughout the panoramic vista in the direction of the temple above,” Mitsotakis wrote within the Each day Mail in November.

In January, the Occasions, a staunch supporter of the British Museum on the problem, modified its place.

“Time and circumstances are altering. The sculptures belong in Athens. They have to now return there,” the each day stated.