Greece wants dialogue with UK for return of Parthenon sculptures

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis raised the issue of the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece, in his address at a dinner celebrating the 75th anniversary of UNESCO on Friday night.

In September, UNESCO adopted a decision recognizing that returning cultural goods to their countries of origins is an issue that relates to talks between countries rather than museums. The Parthenon Marbles are housed at the British Museum.

The Greek PM stressed that the United Kingdom should join Greece in a goodwill dialogue, especially as “this year marks the bicentennial of the start of Greece’s War of Independence. No time could be better for the return of the section that is missing and the reuniting of the Parthenon Marbles in Greece, their country of origin.”

He called the antiquities “emblematic monuments, inextricably linked with the identity of a nation” and said that “the Parthenon Marbles in London must be reunited with the greater part of the Parthenon Marbles, in Athens,” at the Acropolis Museum facing the site of the Acropolis.

Mitsotakis is in Paris to attend the talks on the Libyan issue initiated by French President Emmanuel Macron, and UNESCO is celebrating its 75th anniversary at its headquarters in Paris.