British Prime Minister Rules Out Return Of Parthenon Marbles To Greece
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson ruled out the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece in an interview published Friday, insisting the artefacts were legally acquired by Britain
Athens, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 12th Mar, 2021 ) :British Prime Minister Boris Johnson ruled out the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece in an interview published Friday, insisting the artefacts were legally acquired by Britain.
"The British government has a firm and long-standing position on the sculptures: they were legally acquired by Lord Elgin, in accordance with the laws in force at the time," Johnson told Greek newspaper Ta Nea.
He insisted that the 2500-year-old sculptures, popularly known as the Elgin Marbles, "have been legally owned by the British Museum's Trustees since their acquisition.
The sculptures are the subject of a long-running dispute between the two countries.
Elgin sold the marbles to the British government, which in 1817 passed them on to the British Museum where they remain one of its most prized exhibits.
Johnson, who regularly vacations in Greece at his father's house, said that while he understands the strong sentiment of the Greek people and Mitsotakis over the marbles, they would not be returned.
Ta Nea said Johnson's comments marked the first time he has spoken on the subject as prime minister.
Athens, which has received backing from a groundswell of celebrities on the issue, has over the years said it does not wish to pursue legal action to settle the bitter dispute.
It has called for the United Nations cultural agency UNESCO to act as mediator, an offer rejected by the British Museum.
Greek Culture Minister Lina Mendoni last year reiterated that the marbles were stolen and must be returned to Athens.