Greece demanded that the United Kingdom return all parts of the Parthenon in the British Museum

First Minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis Sputnik/Valery Shrifalin/Paul via Reuters

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis took advantage of the return of ten fragments to the Acropolis Museum on Monday, so far on display at the National Archaeological Museum, to send a resounding message demanding the return of all Parthenon sculptures.

“The reunification of the Parthenon sculptures is not a matter of distance because whether they are here in Athens or in any other part of the world, their destination can only be the Holy Rock (Acropolis) and this great museum.”Mitsotakis pointed out from the Parthenon Room.

The Prime Minister stressed that the return of the items found in the British Museum “is a request from UNESCO and a request from most of the public opinion in the United Kingdom as well”.

An employee of the Acropolis Museum places a piece in a section of the Parthenon Frieze.  EFE / EPA / YANNIS KOLESIDIS
An employee of the Acropolis Museum places a piece in a section of the Parthenon Frieze. EFE / EPA / YANNIS KOLESIDIS

Mitsotakis added that this is an issue that “British Prime Minister Boris Johnson understands personally,” and they exchanged views with him at their last meeting.

Concerning Johnson, he asserted: “Having received Classical Studies himself and being a fan of ancient Greece, I am sure that he would not stop any possible future deals, and remove any potential political impediment.”

Mitsotakis concluded by speaking of Johnson’s willingness, “if necessary, to amend the British Act on Museums to facilitate the re-unification of the Parthenon sculptures”.

People walk a new concrete walkway to improve access for people with disabilities as they visit the Parthenon temple on top of the Acropolis hill in Athens, Greece, June 8, 2021. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis
People walk a new concrete walkway to improve access for people with disabilities as they visit the Parthenon temple on top of the Acropolis hill in Athens, Greece, June 8, 2021. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis

The ten pieces that are fitted today with the rest of the pieces so far preserved in the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, come from the Friesian, tombs and the arches of the Parthenon.

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One, the upper part of the head of a young man, is connected to the figure of the second left overseer of the Panathenaic procession, represented by the seventh stone of the eastern frieze and is the only part of the original stone in the Acropolis Museum, because the rest are in the Louvre in Paris.

Greek Minister of Culture, Lina Mendoni, present at the event, He stressed that the return of these pieces is not only symbolic, but also “absolutely necessary”, as part of Greece’s struggle to bring home all of the Parthenon sculptures.

A Greek flag in front of the Parthenon in Athens VINCENT ISORE / ZUMA PRESS / CONTACTOPHOTO
A Greek flag in front of the Parthenon in Athens VINCENT ISORE / ZUMA PRESS / CONTACTOPHOTO

At the beginning of the 19th century, the Marbles traveled to the United Kingdom when the British Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, Thomas Bruce, better known as Lord Elgin, who identified himself as a lover of antiquities, obtained permission from the Sultan to participate in from the curves and inner frieze of the Parthenon.

He sold it to his government for 35,000 pounds ($47,044.55) and since 1939 these jewels have been on display in the British Museum, while the Acropolis Museum displays only copies.

(With information from EFE)

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