Greece Rejects Risk of Parthenon Marbles ‘Mortgage’ in New Assertion

Simply days after the British Museum confirmed talks with Greece over the Parthenon Marbles’ return to Athens, the Greek Ministry of Tradition launched a press release renouncing the potential of any settlement that affirms United Kingdom’s declare to possession of the contested antiquities.

“We repeat, as soon as once more, our nation’s agency place that it doesn’t acknowledge the British Museum’s jurisdiction, possession and possession of the Sculptures, as they’re the product of theft,” the Greek Ministry of Tradition stated, Kathimerini, Greece’s newspaper of file, reported Thursday.

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People admire the Parthenon Marbles inside the Parthenon Galleries in the British Museum. The marbles are also known as Elgin Marbles, with sculptures are artifacts of the frieze and the East Pediment from the Parthenon in the Acropolis of Athens. The marbles are displayed to visitors in the British Museum. The Greek government is in dispute with the British government and the museum, demanding the return of the marbles. London, United Kingdom UK on August 2022 (Photo by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The tradition ministry’s assertion gave the impression to be in direct response to reviews in Bloomberg and the Telegraph earlier this week that British Museum chairman George Osborne and the Acropolis Museum in Athens have been in “superior talks” on a mortgage settlement that would entail a “proportion of the marbles despatched to Athens on rotation over a number of years.”

Greek sources advised the Telegraph that an alternate of antiquities, with objects from Nationwide Archaeological Museum in Athens heading to the U.Ok., may start “sooner fairly than later.”

The assertion from the Greek Ministry of Tradition in Kathimerini, nevertheless, appeared to quash the potential of any settlement structured as a mortgage. It stated that Greece’s official place — that the Parthenon Marbles unequivocally belong to Greece — had remained unchanged.

Right here is the complete announcement (as printed by Kathimerini and translated roughly by Google Translate):

“The federal government, because the starting of its time period, has been performing with seriousness, accountability, sensitivity and effectivity, in an effort to understand the nationwide aim of returning the Parthenon Sculptures to Athens and reuniting them within the Acropolis Museum.

That is undoubtedly assumed by a sequence of occasions of the final two years: From UNESCO’s resolution, in September 2021, and the definitive (sine die) reunification of the Fagan fragment, to the conversion and assist of the Greek request by worldwide public opinion.

We repeat, as soon as once more, our nation’s agency place that it doesn’t acknowledge the British Museum’s jurisdiction, possession and possession of the Sculptures, as they’re the product of theft.

Due to this fact, let the official opposition cease blabbing. We’d count on on this nationwide effort that small-party calculations could be left apart and that there could be an enlistment of all. Sadly we don’t see it. For some, the primary aim is to put on down the federal government, even with lies, no matter whether or not they hurt the nation. Pity.”

Final month, Greek newspaper Ta Nea reported that Greece and the British Museum had been secretly assembly for months in regards to the marbles, which have been on view within the British Museum since 1832, after they have been stripped from the Acropolis in Athens by the Scottish nobleman Lord Elgin.

Stress on the British Museum has grown lately for the museum to acknowledge Greece’s declare to the marbles, as the controversy across the possession of artworks looted in periods of colonization has shifted worldwide. 

All through the controversy, the U.Ok. authorities has maintained that the choice rests with the British Museum, which has maintained that the sculptures have been obtained legally by Elgin, who was granted permission for the operation by the Ottoman powers occupying Greece within the nineteenth century.

Fragments of the unique Parthenon frieze are scattered in museums throughout Europe however have been slowly making their approach again to Greece.

In Might, Italy introduced {that a} fragment belonging to the Parthenon’s japanese frieze on mortgage from a Sicilian museum would stay in Athens. The artifact, depicting the foot of the goddess Artemis peeking out from a tunic, was returned as a part of a four-year loan agreement between Greece and the Antonio Salinas Archaeological Museum in Palermo.

Extra just lately, the Vatican promised to relinquish three fragments of the Parthenon Marbles housed within the Vatican Museums. Within the announcement, the Vatican described the transfer as a “donation” from the Pope to the Greek Orthodox Church, and stated it was “a concrete signal of his honest need to observe within the ecumenical path of fact.”

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