-1.4 C

Britain’s “Great Fortune”? The Prime Minister rejected the possibility of returning the Parthenon statues to Greece.



Ancient Greek statues have been part of the British Museum’s collection since 1816

The famous ancient Parthenon statues, which have been kept in the British Museum since 1816, will apparently not return to their homeland, even after more than two centuries of negotiations or arguments between the United Kingdom and Greece.

The Parthenon statues, also known as the Elgin Collection (aka the Elgin Marbles), have been a long-standing bone of contention between the two countries. In 1801, they were removed from the architecture of the Athenian Acropolis – and some from the Erechtheion, the Propylaea, the Temple of Athena Nike and other places – by order of a diplomat of Thomas Bruce, seventh Earl of Elgin. In the British Museum, they prefer to call the collection the Parthenon statues due to the negative reputation of Earl Elgin.

The UK shares “its” treasures with the worldThe United Kingdom has been caring for Elgin marbles for generations,” said the British Prime Minister on Monday Rishi Sunak. “Our galleries and museums are funded by taxpayers because they are a great asset to this country. We share their treasures with the world and the world comes to the UK to see them. The British Museum collection is protected by law and we do not intend to change it,” he said after writing Art News.

As recently as the beginning of December last year, there is a Greek newspaper This Nea reported that secret negotiations had been going on for some time between the Director of the British Museum George Osborne and the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis regarding the return of the statues to Greece. In mid-January, however, the Greek prime minister already dashed hopes for the imminent restitution of these ancient treasures.

The British Prime Minister stated this despite the campaign for the return of the statues to Greece, several months of talks between the British Museum and the Acropolis Museum in Athens, and the activities of the British advisory committee established in October last year, the purpose of which is to return the statues. The committee is chaired by a former British conservative culture minister Ed Vaizey.

The Count of Elgin sent the monuments from Athens by ship to London, where, after an already heated debate about whether it was a welcome acquisition or ordinary loot, the British government bought the treasure and handed it over to the British Museum for safekeeping.  Photo: EPA

While decisions about the care and management of certain collections are taken by the British Museum itself, Sunak’s cabinet announced that a long-term loan of the statues to Greece would not be in the spirit of the government’s position. Even the previous prime minister Liz Truss and Boris Johnson have made similar statements in the past regarding the future of these marble sculptures in the British Museum and the possibility of their return to their country of origin.

With the return of the statues also the dismantling of the museum?The director of the British Museum also stated that the Parthenon statues would remain in the collection of this institution under his leadership. “We hear voices calling for restitution. But the creation of this global British Museum has been the dedicated work of many generations. Decomposition must not become the careless act of a single generation,Osborne is said to have said in writing in November Art Newspaper.

After writing Guardianwho first reported Sunak’s comments, UK government ministers have no intention of changing the British Museum Act, which prevents the institution from permanently returning any object from its collection except in very limited circumstances.

Greece: Statues subject to theftHowever, Greece’s Ministry of Culture earlier this year rejected the possibility of any agreement confirming the UK’s claim to ownership of the treasures. “Once again, we reiterate the firm position of our country that it does not recognize the jurisdiction, possession and ownership of the British Museum over the sculptures, as they are the subject of theft,” are according to the Greek newspaper Kathimerini announced by the ministry.

Source: Rtvslo

Subscribe to our magazine


━ more like this


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here